You are on page 1of 9

consumer research

INSIGHTS

ON IDENTITY THEFT AND CYBERCRIME

30%
are victims of

Nearly

CYBER THEFT!

RESPONDENTS USE THE INTERNET FOR BANKING OR SHOPPING.

78%

AMERICANS SURF THE NET WITHOUT PROTECTION

19%

OF THE VICTIMS HAVE BEEN DECEIVED ON ONLINE SCAMS, ID THEFT AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD.

10%

15% 10%

PEOPLE KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO SOME KIND OF FRAUD OR SCAM. DON’T CONSIDER THEIR CREDIT CARD NUMBER AS SENSITIVE INFORMATION

ONE OUT OF THREE
RESPONDENTS HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO ONLINE SCAMS, ID THEFT OR CREDIT CARD FRAUD.

THE WORLD HAS MOVED ONLINE!

78.43%
RESPONDENTS USE THE INTERNET FOR BANKING OR SHOPPING. THIS REFLECTS THE GENERAL TREND.

According to comScore, US retail ecommerce spending (Q1: 2012) pushed past $44 billion, that is a 17% Year over Year increase. The hottest product categories included Digital Content/Subscriptions, Computer Software and Electronics. In 2011, 53% of the population bought something online, according to a Forrester study. In fact, the total amount spent on shopping online is projected to rise from a $1207 in 2011 to an astounding $1738 by 2016. That’s the average number of dollars the American consumer is expected to spend annually on online shopping.

NATURALLY, THE FRAUDSTERS ARE NOW ONLINE, TOO!
ONLINE SCAMS CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Nearly 30%
RESPONDENTS HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO ONLINE SCAMS, ID THEFT OR ID THEFT CREDIT CARD FRAUD.

Given the rising revenues being garnered by online retail, it is only logical that this field will attract sophisticated cyber thieves. The number of people being victims of frauds and scams is going up every day. Identity theft and data theft is on the rise. The scams are many, unique and ever changing in the way they are presented so that they can fool most online users. From fake online shopping portals that resemble the original almost down to every detail, malicious coding, phishing attacks, and infected email attachments – today, scammers use a variety of ways to grab personal information and financial data. The survey shows that there is cause for serious concern. Three out of ten respondents have been duped in some way or the other while transacting online. William LeGro of Silver Lake frequently shops online, but when he contacted Bank of America recently to inform the bank that he was making an online buying transaction, an anti-fraud precaution few of us normally take, he was told that his Visa card had been compromised as a business he'd bought things from had been penetrated by hackers and that numerous Visa accounts had been compromised. No other details were forthcoming. Even the IRS has not been spared – in fact it has acknowledged that identity theft tax fraud –- stealing someone’s Social Security number to file a fake tax return and collect a bogus refund –- is one of the most complex issues it deals with.

PEOPLE ARE BEING CHEATED AGAIN AND AGAIN!
ONLINE SCAMS ID THEFT CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Nearly 10%
OF THE VICTIMS HAVE BEEN ONLINE SCAMS, ID THEFT AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD. FRAUDED ON ALL THREE COUNTS:

It sounds almost incredulous that someone could be made a victim three times over. However, 10% of the victims have been duped on three occasions, if not more. That speaks volumes about the ingenuity of the online con artists and thieves. Cybercriminals go to great lengths to cheat consumers. They make their operations look legitimate, they frequently manipulate search engine results and run professional-looking websites in order to make fake brands seem authentic, using country-specific scripts for cold calls. They also use the latest technology and a deep understanding of the human pyche to fool victims, often more than once. Meghan Bach discovered last year that her husband’s identity had been stolen and a fake tax refund collected in his name; she spent nearly 200 hours to sort out the issue with the IRS and other agencies involved. She thought it was behind her until the family came back from vacation, only to realize that his identity had been stolen once again.

EVERY SIXTH RESPONDENT HAS A FRIEND WHO IS A VICTIM

At least 15%
KIND OF FRAUD OR SCAM.. At one time, it used to be that we were only separated by six degrees of introduction from anyone on earth. Well, today, it seems that we’re also all separated probably by just six degrees of fraud! The number of online frauds being perpetrated is so high that it is no more an uncommon occurrence. Many respondents have victims in their circle of family and friends. It is increasingly cause for serious concern. Also, cases of mass data theft are on the rise - such as the Sony Play Station identity theft case or the LinkedIn hacked accounts or the recent credit card heist where nearly ten million Visa and Master card customers had their data stolen. Released by Javelin Strategy & Research, a study reports that in 2011, identity fraud increased by 13 percent. More than 11.6 million adults became a victim of identity fraud in the United States

PEOPLE KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO SOME

AMAZINGLY, ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS HAVE NO ONLINE SECURITY.

19.32%

AMERICANS SURF THE NET WITHOUT PROTECTION! A recent study by McAfee puts the US in the bottom 5 protected countries. 19.32% of Americans surf the net without protection compared to the global average of 17%. One in six PCs have zero anti-virus protection. “Browsing the internet on an exposed computer not only increases the risk of identity theft and data loss, but it can contribute to the spread of harmful programs and nasty viruses,” the security firm states. Consumers naively believe that by sticking to safe sites, they will escape virus threats and cyber-theft and malicious content. The truth is that attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and these are rising at an alarming rate. In addition, mobile usage has led to the new upsurge of mobile malware, which is an immediate threat, considering the amount of personal data like credit card and financial information stored on mobile devices, and which can be easily accessed.

MOST PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES A SECURITY RISK ONLINE.
30%
FULL NAME

30%
DATE OF BIRTH

DON’T GET WHY HACKERS WOULD FIND THIS VALUABLE

DON’T SEE WHY REVEALING THEIR FULL NAME COULD CAUSE THEM HARM

11%

BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER

CREDIT CARD NUMBER

10%

DON’T REGARD THIS AS A NOTTO-BE-DISCLOSED FACT

DON’T THINK THIS IS CRITICAL INFO

73% 40% 5%

EMPLOYER’S NAME

DESIGNATION

71%

DON’T CONSIDER THIS INFO AS PRIVATE

DON’T AGREE THAT THIS IS SENSITIVE INFO

ADDRESS

DON’T SEE WHY THEIR ADDRESS SHOULD BE KEPT PRIVATE

PERSONAL EMAIL ID

40%

SCARIEST OF ALL

DON’T THINK THIS IS CRITICAL INFO

ACTUALLY THINK NONE OF THIS IS SENSITIVE INFORMATION!

Amazingly, many of us seem to be completely unaware of the sensitive information that we reveal and which could be used to steal our hard-earned money. Social media such Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are huge leaks of critical, personal data. A study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, stated that specifically, 68 percent of people with public social media profiles shared their birthday information (with 45 percent sharing month, date and year); 63 percent shared their high school name; 18 percent shared their phone number; and 12 percent shared their pet’s name The scary bit is that all these are prime examples of personal information that a company would use to verify your identity. Clearly, there are some of us who are willing to reveal personal data without realizing how dangerous it could be to our own online security; making them a delight for hackers, scamsters and fraudsters. They are a soft and easy target for alert cyber thieves, always on the lookout for such victims.

METHODOLOGY
This iYogi Insights research on Consumer Experience with Identity Theft and Cybercrime seeks to understand average consumer behaviour on cybercrime and identity theft. In this age of new-age technologies, social media and information sharing, does the average Joe or Jane understand what constitutes sensitive information and how he or she often may unknowingly increase their own vulnerability to hackers and cyber theft. The survey was conducted on iYogi subscribers through an online form following their support sessions. A total of 1970 respondents filled the online survey form consisting of 10 detailed questions on their understanding of online security, cybercrime, information sharing and related issues. The data collected was then collated, analyzed and compared to identify, assess and quantify trends and patterns.

DISCLAIMER

"Affiliation of any third party organization is not implied, unless expressly stated."