Despite warnings and increased scrutiny by financial services firms, 16 percent of consumers have had their financial information stolen, 13 percent have experienced monetary loss because of the theft of their financial data and 12 percent have had their Social Security numbers stolen, according to a recent Experian Personal Credit Index survey fielded by the Gallup organization. In addition, 77 percent of consumers polled think of credit card fraud as identity theft.
One factor that may deter some consumers from taking preventive steps is that they don't believe they are likely to become a victim, a view expressed by more than four in 10 consumers. Also, about one-third of consumers believe that no matter what they do, they can't prevent thieves from stealing their personal or financial information. Still, the poll shows that 74 percent of consumers say they would do more to protect themselves if they knew what to do.
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