Fraud & Identity Fraud & Identity

Fraud & Identity Featured Article

August 07, 2017

More Consumers Afraid of Fraud than Terrorism

Our world is currently in a sorry state of disrepair. With a new terrorist attack seemingly happening every week, bombs consistently being dropped in Syria, North Korea making nuclear threats, people being afraid of other cultures or ways of life that they don’t understand, and certain leaders doing more harm than good, it’s safe to say that no one really knows what the future holds. There are plenty of things to be afraid of in this type of world—historically, humans have a tendency to destroy other humans, especially over cultural, religious and social disputes. And right now, people all over the world seem to be doing just that.

So it makes sense that most people are afraid of terrorist attacks, especially when traveling to foreign countries, or the death of a loved one. In the world we live in, those are justifiable concerns that should probably scare everyone. However, according to a new FICO report, these aren’t the No. 1 fears that most people have.

In fact, FICO’s latest consumer finance trend research found that nearly half (44 percent) of U.S. consumers rate identity fraud and banking fraud as their top concerns. Surprisingly, only 18 percent of those surveyed stated that they’re afraid of being the victim of a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, 22 percent view their own death or that of a loved one as their No. 1 concern.

Given the state of the world, it’s surprising that respondents answered in this way. However, Bob Shiflet, vice president of FICO's fraud business line, shed some light on the findings by saying, “Human beings hate to lose…The survey confirms the psychology of loss aversion, especially when it comes to money and the likelihood of an event happening to us. The loss of your personal information or money from your account cuts deep, it is a violation, and people now know it's much more likely to happen to them.”

If you break the results down even further, it becomes clear what exactly worries people most about fraud. Eighty-six percent of people are worried about their social security numbers being stolen, 76 percent fear their bank account information being hacked and 58 percent are anxious about their credit card information.

Driving these worries is a lack of security on the mobile front. Most people access their bank accounts on their mobile devices nowadays, and inputting credit card information online has become the norm. Therefore, a lot of people are reasonably concerned about that information being easily stolen through mobile device hacking.

As we know, there are plenty of ways for fraudsters to steal information, whether through mobile number porting, SMS fraud, and so on. That’s why it’s so important for everyone connected to a consumer’s phone—operators, banks, marketers, etc.—to keep fraud top of mind. That’s truly the only way for these companies to catch fraudsters in the act and alert customers before it’s too late. Two-factor authentication is also a good extra step for consumers to take when it comes to protecting their information on mobile.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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