Fears of Identity Theft and Fraud Grow

4/13/2007 – A new study reports that 91 percent of Americans are now concerned about identity theft – i.e., stolen personal info will be used to make purchases – reports Internet Retailer, citing a Zogby study.

Moreover, 91 percent of the 6,703 people surveyed expressed concern that legitimate retailers would sell their information without consent; 83 percent are specifically worried that the information will wind up in the hands of a third party.

Some 34 percent of respondents do not think e-tailers are doing a good job of protecting their personal data, compared with 28 percent who think companies protect that data adequately. Only 48 percent say they believe e-tailers abide by their privacy agreements; 35 say they don’t think that’s the case.

That study dovetails with a Unisys survey, also reported by Internet Retailer, saying 16 percent of respondents have stopped from shopping online because the process requires a bank card. Only 34 percent disagree that a bank card requirement has stopped them from making an online purchase. Those who have balked at the bank card requirement cite a fear of card fraud and theft.

Some 63 percent of Unisys’s respondents say identity theft is a problem that will only get bigger in coming years. Only five percent of e-shoppers review a site’s privacy policy before making a purchase. A combined 80 percent sometimes or rarely review such policies.

And 69 percent of those surveyed say they would stop using a site that lost their personal information.

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