Survey finds many consumers vulnerable to high-tech ID theft

Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014 12:45 pm

Survey finds many consumers vulnerable to high-tech ID theft

By Allison Hurtado, Ahwatukee Foothills News

Ahwatukee Foothills News

A new nationwide survey by AARP shows that consumers continue to put themselves at risk of identity theft by ignoring simple protection tips like shredding personal documents, checking credit reports and locking mailboxes. But the report, along with interviews with convicted ID thieves, reveal Americans are falling even further behind in the fight to protect their identities as scam artists go digital.

The report, “Identity Theft: Who’s at Risk?” shows Americans continue to ignore time-tested consumer protection tips that are known to help protect personal information from identity thieves. For example, only 59 percent of Americans regularly lock their mailboxes. More than 21 percent of Americans say they never shred any personal documents that could be used to steal their identity. More than half of Americans age 18-49 have left at least one valuable personal item in their car (e.g. purse/wallet, paystub, laptop) that could be used to steal their identity.

The more troubling findings of AARP’s survey show Americans are even less prepared for new high-tech attacks. The report shows 35 percent of Americans have not set up online access to all of their bank/credit card accounts. It gets worse among older adults as more than 42 percent of Americans age 50 and older have not set up such access. More than 45 percent of Americans admit to using the same password on two or more of their accounts. Forty-nine percent of Americans have not changed the password on their online bank account in the past six months.

AARP’s survey showed 44 percent of Americans age 50-plus who own smartphones do not have a passcode on their smartphones.

In an effort to arm all Americans with the tools and resources they need to spot and avoid scams and avoid identity theft, AARP launched the Fraud Watch Network, a free resource for people of all ages that offers real-time alerts about the latest scams, a guide to outsmarting con artists, help for those who have been victimized and easy tips for consumers’ daily lives from identity theft prevention experts. To sign up for Fraud Watch, visit or call (877) 908-3360.

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  • ARTICLE: McLaughlin: Seniors get fit with SilverSneakers

More about Identity Theft

  • ARTICLE: How to set up password fraud alerts
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  • ARTICLE: How to prevent identity theft
  • ARTICLE: ADOT to launch new driver license process, design

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Saturday, October 11, 2014 12:45 pm.

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Identity Theft,



Social Issues,

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Credit History,

Consumer Protection,


Confidence Trick,

Fraud Watch Network,

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Real-time Alerts, Fraudwatchnetwork,

877 908-3360

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