IDology is warning that many consumers feel unprepared to deal with rising rates of identity fraud. The company is reporting that fraudsters are increasingly opening accounts in someone else’s name, to the point that 58 million consumers have been the victim of such an incident in the past 12 months alone. That corresponds to a 21 percent increase over the rate in 2020.
The problem is that only 45 percent of those consumers believe that they have the technical know-how needed to protect themselves from cybercriminals. That is cause for great anxiety for the 96 million Americans who believe that fraud attempts will increase over the course of the next year. Meanwhile, 61 percent are worried that compromised personal information could be used to initiate an unauthorized account opening in their name.
With that in mind, IDology argues that companies will need to shoulder some of the security responsibility in order to build trust with their customers. However, that task will be easier said than done, largely because many people feel like that trust has already been broken. A strong majority (70 percent) believe that companies collect data without getting consent, and 59 percent believe that those companies do not do enough to protect personal information.
That translates to overwhelming support (90 percent) for data protection legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act amongst the general public. In the meantime, consumers are particularly worried about threats to their mobile devices now that they are using those devices more frequently in their daily lives. Sixty-four percent have used a smartphone to sign up for a new service, and while that can be convenient, it also serves as a potential vector of attack. The number of compromised devices is up 71 percent year over year, and 24 percent have reported that one of their devices has been hit during the pandemic. As a result, roughly half of the public now believes that their phone is in more danger than their personal computer.
“The necessity of widespread reliance on digital services and transactions has created novel opportunities for consumers, business and fraudsters,” said IDology CEO Christina Luttrell. “Cyberattacks have amplified the critical need for businesses to build trust and protect consumer data. Creating moments of trust throughout the customer journey, beginning with account creation and onboarding, is rooted in access to diverse data attribute streams that give way to seamless, secure identity verification.”
The findings in IDology’s fourth annual Consumer Digital Identity Study survey reflect the feedback of 1,499 consumers in the United States. They echo studies from other organizations that have suggested that companies will lose the trust of their customers (and lose business) if they offer a poor online user experience.