Money Pulse

American Consumer Horror Story: 77% of Americans Fear Identity Theft

Nearly 50% know someone who has been a victim of identity theft, including themselves

NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77%) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new (NYSE: RATE) report, including 23% who are very frightened.

About half of Americans (46%) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.

One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.

Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. 42% don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41% conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.

Hacks abound

“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” said analyst Janna Herron. “It’s one of the easiest and most important steps to take and is free on sites like”

30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned

In addition to free credit reports and scores (updated monthly), also offers identity theft insurance worth up to $1 million. It guarantees reimbursement for expenses related to identity theft restoration such as replacement documents, fraudulent withdrawals and much more.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here.

PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline phone (500) and cellphone (500, including 305 without a landline phone) in English by Princeton Data Source from October 1-4, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.




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