Global Recession Exacerbates Fears Of Identity Fraud

A majority of UK consumers believe that the ongoing economic crunch will increase their vulnerability to falling victim of identity theft and other related crimes, according to a recent report from the technology company Unisys.

Unisys surveyed 8,500 people across nine countries, including Australia, Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and the US, and discovered around a 10 point increase web-related security fears across the globe.

The recent Unisys Security Index, which gauges consumers’ perception about online attacks, discovered that as many as 72 percent of the UK consumers feared that they were more at risk of falling victims to cybercriminals, as against 84 percent of Spanish consumers and 74 percent consumers in the US, owing to the existing turmoil in global economy.

Around 88 percent of the total 1,000 people surveyed in UK claimed that they were worried that criminal could obtain their bank and credit card details, and subsequently use them illicitly to abuse them.

The Unisys Security Index, which is released twice in a year and offers a deep insight into varying security concerns of consumers, grew considerably by 20 percent to 150 from 125 reported a year ago.

Neil Fisher, Unisys’s VP for global security solutions, asserted that consumers’ confidence in financial institutions has been faded considerably by the current economic crunch, with the incidences of online frauds raised substantially during past few months.

Citing the same, Fisher said in statement, “Criminals have been affected by the recession like everyone else, so they're looking for easy ways of making money and one way is to attack people online”.

Fisher went on to say that the consumers must have the updated versions of security software and make sure that the web-connected devices must be safeguarded as strongly as possible.

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Our Comments

Whether the recession will actually make the ID fraud more widespread remains to be seen. There is a difference between perception and reality here and the fact that people will be more cautious about using their credit cards and will monitor their finances more closely might actually reduce the risks of credit fraud. Ditto for banks and other financial institutions which have become way more attentive over the last year.

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