Survey Reveals Massive Consumer Mistrust of Businesses Over Identity Fraud

Only half (52%) of consumers in Great Britain trust their high street bank or building society to protect their personal details from identity thieves, a new 'trust' poll has revealed.

Travel and gambling companies fared even worse by coming bottom of the league in a survey by YouGov for identity fraud prevention specialists GB.

The research also suggests that consumers will vote with their feet unless organisations tighten up their online fraud safeguards just under half (45%) of those polled are prepared to give up online banking and shopping to avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud.

The poll also highlights the dramatic gulf in trust between younger and older generations 21% of 18-24 year olds trust mobile phone companies with their details compared with just 5% of over 55 year olds.

The survey comes hot on the heels of MPs calling for an identity fraud tsar to be appointed to tackle the estimated ?1.7 billion annual cost to the economy.

According to GB, this latest research provides a wake up call to businesses proving they're capable of protecting their customers against identity fraud is essential for future growth.

Rob Laurence, managing director of GB's fraud prevention business, said: "Identity fraud is a major issue for consumers and it's clear companies need to do much more to win their trust.

"The majority of adults in the UK have a bank or building society account, yet just half actually trust those organisations with their personal information. Well over 45 million people in the UK have a mobile phone, but less than one in ten of those polled trust their mobile company with their details.

"We have to ask ourselves why this is. Information security has been high on the agenda for over 4 years now - why do consumers still feel businesses do not do enough to stop fraudsters from getting hold of their personal information?

"Our research reveals that consumers are ultimately prepared to give up online banking and shopping to prevent identity fraudsters from getting hold of their data. As it is widely accepted that online fraud will continue to rise and fast, failure to protect could have dramatic consequences for business growth."

GB, which helps hundreds of organisations in the UK to prevent fraud, is calling for businesses to respond to consumer pressure on identity fraud protection.

Mr Laurence continued: "Essentially, businesses need to tackle identity fraud with the same vigour as they are already doing with environmental issues. If they don't, then it's highly likely that consumers will form pressure groups to get their voices heard.

"Demonstrating clearly to consumers the attention that is being paid to safeguarding them against identity fraud will go a long way in restoring faith."

YouGov ID fraud 'trust' survey key statistics:
Less than half (46%) of consumers feel there is enough information available to help protect themselves against identity fraud;
An overwhelming majority - 72% - feel that the organisations holding their personal details are ultimately responsible for protecting their identity;
52% of consumers say they trust their bank/building society to look after their details, while just 25% say they trust the Government with their personal details;
Almost half (49%) of women in Great Britain would be prepared to give up online banking and e-shopping to reduce the risks of ID fraud.

'Trust league' breakdown of trusted organisations:
1. Bank and building societies: 52%;
2. Central Government: 25%;
3. Local councils: 21%;
4. Mortgage brokers, independent financial advisers, stockbrokers: 20%;
5. Utility companies: 18%;
6. Retailers: 9%;
7. Mobile phone companies: 9%;
8. Travel companies: 6%;
9. Gambling companies (casinos, online gaming sites, interactive TV gambling programmes): 4%.

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