American are increasingly aware that they can fall prey to con artists after their money.
Fifty percent of adults in a new survey released Thursday by the American Institute of CPAs anticipated suffering some financial loss in the next year because of identity theft, and 10% said this was very or extremely likely to happen.
Twenty-one percent of respondents reported identity theft or an attempt during the past year.
Harris Poll conducted the annual telephone survey for the AICPA in late March among 517 men and 488 women 18 and older.
The survey found that 93% respondents hit by identity theft took action to fix it:
- 72% contacted their credit or debit card company to set up more protections
- 50% increased their use of cash or checks
- 46% eliminated or decreased use of online financial transactions
- 29% put a freeze on their credit report
- 10% used alternative currencies, such as bitcoin
It is likely that the Internal Revenue Service’s annual campaign to alert taxpayers about tax scams, including ID theft, has helped raise Americans’ awareness of potential losses.
AICPA noted that being proactive can help mitigate the threat of a financial loss resulting from identity theft.
A similar approach, it said, combined with skepticism can prevent losses from investment fraud.
Nineteen percent of Americans in the survey said they had been victimized by investment fraud.