Bank, Credit Card Company Say Not To Worry About Identity Theft

from the questionable-motives dept

Identity theft continues to be a problem for American consumers, with the recent news that the Massachusetts attorney general had fallen victim to it highlighting the general inability of government or industry to tackle the issue. Despite repeated leaks of credit-card and other personal information, and the scale of those leaks reaching new heights, a new study says that identity theft is actually becoming less prevalent. It says the number of people affected by identity theft or fraud decreased last year, as did total losses and the size of the average loss. It's probably worth noting that the study was paid for by Visa, Wells Fargo bank, and a check-processing company. Visa and Wells Fargo are no strangers to data leaks and identity theft, so you'd be forgiven for thinking they have just the slightest vested interest in downplaying the threat. To be fair, the company that did the survey isn't saying that identity theft is no longer a problem, but it's hard to see this as much more than an effort by the companies that paid for it to try and say the problem's not so bad. Perhaps the public has grown paranoid, but they should try telling that to victims, particularly those who spend lots of time dealing with identity theft's lingering effects.

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  1. identicon
    Rob Rubin, 2 Feb 2007 @ 9:37am

    On the otherhand, overstating demand isn't good ei

    I recently read an article claiming that 45% of consumers would be willing to switch to a bank that provides identity theft protection. The study was commissioned by an identity theft protection software vendor (Unisys) and was in my analysis, flawed research that overstates demand.

    I think consumer awareness is the biggest reason identity theft declined. For example, I had to give my Dad my credit card number recently and he asked that I not email him the number because he knows email isn't secure. You don't know my Dad, but that's amazing.

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