The Inevitability Of Cybercrime And Identity Theft

Think of all the ways you could be a victim of a crime.  Do you register any of those as inevitable? In nearly every case, it’s not even close with one major exception…identity theft.

Cybercrime And Identity Theft

Results of a recent survey by ERP Maestro show that 76% of Americans now believe that it’s inevitable that they will fall victim to identity theft or cybercrime in their lifetime. And the sad part? Nearly 48% of them aren’t even concerned about it.

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ERP Maestro surveyed 2,000 Americans to better understand their relationship with cybercrime and identity theft in 2019.  Here’s what they learned:

76% of Americans believe it’s inevitable they will be victims of cybercrime or identity theft. Nearly half of American’s aren’t even concerned about it.  Why is this?

If something does happen, 57% of Americans believe they can get the damages reversed. 25% of American believe that thieves may steal some information but feel that they can’t do much with that information. 18% believe it is statistically unlikely that they will have any serious consequences because of identity theft.

37% of Americans have already been victims of identity theft. Here’s a breakdown of what happened as a result:

  • 64% had fraudulent credit card or debit charges
  • 16% had personal information stolen
  • 6% were victims of employment/tax fraud
  • 6% had wireless accounts opened in their name
  • 4% had a bank account opened
  • 3% had a loan/lease opened in their name
  • 1% had government benefits obtained in their name

The survey asked victims if they felt they could have prevented the crime from happening.  Surprisingly enough only 32% of respondents felt they could have prevented the crime.  An overwhelmingly majority (68%) felt there was nothing they could have done to prevent the crime from happening.  Those results are very telling. On top of that nearly 75% of the victims surveyed said their behavior didn’t really change much after it happened.

The survey also asked about the consequences that resulted from identity theft and cybercrime.  Listed below are the top five consequences of cybercrime and identify theft in America:

  1. It was a big hassle, took a lot of time (48%)
  2. I lost a little money (19%)
  3. My credit was damaged (11%)
  4. I lost a lot of money (10%)
  5. My reputation was hurt (4%)

Nearly one third of respondents said there were no real consequences to identity theft. Is this true or are most Americans not aware of said consequences?

EPR Maestro also asked what people are doing to actively prevent identity theft. Listed below are the top results:

  1. Look for fraudulent credit/debit charges (77%)
  2. Use very complex passwords (66%)
  3. Use firewalls/anti-virus software at home (55%)
  4. Shred mail and other documents (50%)
  5. Review credit reports regularly (49%)
  6. Keep sensitive documents in a secure place (40%)
  7. Change passwords frequently (32%)
  8. Use VPN on public Wi-Fi (15%)
  9. Pay for a credit monitoring services (9%)
  10. Freeze my credit files when inactive (9%)

To see the full analysis on cybercrime and identity theft in America in 2019, check out the infographic below.

Cybercrime And Identity Theft




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and three kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own 2.5 grams of Gold