New Poll Shows Two Out of Three Americans Feel At Risk for Identity Theft

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

A September 2010 web poll from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) testing the attitudes of Americans toward identity theft revealed that 66 percent – or two out of three people – of more than 1,300 respondents felt at risk for identity theft.

In an October NFCC press release, a spokesperson for the NFCC stated that in recent years “identity theft has claimed more than 10 million victims per year, and has been the top complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the last five years in a row.”

According to the press release, the actual survey question – “Q: I don’t think I’m at risk of being a victim of identity theft because…” – and multiple choice results from the poll are as follows:

  • A. Identity theft is on the decline = 1%
  • B. My credit card company has systems in place that protect me = 9%
  • C. I don’t carry my Social Security card in my wallet = 10%
  • D. I never open emails from unknown sources = 15%
  • E. I do think I am at risk of ID theft = 66%

The NFCC’s September Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site at from September 1 to September 30, 2010 and answered by 1,352 individuals.

To help meet the need of identity theft protection education, the NFCC – the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization – and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) joined together to host Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) from October 17 to October 23, 2010 (

The 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report by Javelin Strategy & Research found that the number of identity theft and fraud victims in the United States increased 12 percent to affect 11.1 million adults in 2009, while the total annual fraud amount in the country increased by 12.5 percent to $54 billion.

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