More Americans Concerned Over ID Theft Than Jobs

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Nine out of 10 Americans want federal legislation to address ID theft, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by STAR Systems, found that two-thirds also want the financial services industry to have programs to verify the identity of customers- members who open bank accounts (66%) and credit card accounts (72%).

Conducted during April, the survey further found that Americans are more concerned about ID theft (51%) than unemployment or corporate fraud (47% each); that 5.6% of respondents reported that they had been victims of ID theft, which translates to just under 12 million people according to census data, and that when credit- signature debit card fraud and ID theft were combined, close to 15.9% of consumers reported they had been victims of at least one of these crimes (34 million people).

Other findings:

* Close to three-quarters (74% ) are willing to provide an ID when applying for a loan or opening a bank account, despite the ongoing national debate about privacy vs. security.

* More than 65% believe it is easy to obtain a fraudulent drivers license. Only 71% were asked to produce a driver's license when opening a bank account in the past two years.

Close to 60% think it is important that retailers require a second form of ID to verify a customer using a credit or signature debit card.

"While the severity of the problem is well known, what's gotten less attention is the solutions we have today that have yet to be adopted on a widespread basis. From tools that financial institutions can use to verify their customers' identities, to new laws and regulations that can strengthen penalties or enhance identification standards, to more aggressive prosecution and better coordination, many of the answers are right in front of us, and consumers want them to be used," said STAR President Ronald V. Congemi.

The research, on behalf of STAR, was conducted from April 4-6, 2003 by Synovate. For info: www.star.com.

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