Concern Over Identity Theft Is Changing Consumer Behaviour

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November 30, 2006, Toronto, ON � A new survey released today by Capital One and conducted by Ipsos Reid asked Canadians across the country about identity theft. Almost three quarters (73 percent) of Canadians are concerned about becoming victims of identity theft, while only 33 percent of Canadians feel that they are very well informed about how to protect themselves against identity theft. Other findings include:

  • Over a quarter (28 percent) of Canadians say they or someone they know has been a victim of identity theft.

  • Almost three in ten Canadians (29 percent) say that although they hear a lot about identity theft, they are not sure they know what it means.

  • Over one third (36 percent) of Canadians indicated that they would not know who to contact or what steps to take in restoring their name and credit if they were a victim of identity theft.

Concern over identity theft has altered consumer behaviour

Over half (57 percent) of Canadians concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft admitted to purchasing a shredder to shred personal information. While the majority (92 percent) of concerned Canadians say that they now review, rather than toss away, their monthly financial statements and pay closer attention to the way merchants handle their credit and/or debit card when shopping. However, over half (61 percent) of Canadians do not review their credit bureau report file at least once a year to check for errors or unfamiliar activity.

Topics of interest to Canadians to guard against identity theft

According to the study, the topics Canadians are most interested in learning more about are: the steps to take if they become a victim of identity theft (70 percent), the latest scams being used by criminals to gain personal information (67 percent), the individual��s role and responsibilities if they become a victim of identity theft (67 percent) and how to read and understand a credit bureau report (50 percent).

These are the findings of a telephone survey of 1,000 Canadian adults. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ��3.02 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what would have been, had this entire population been polled. The telephone survey was conducted between October 24th and October 26th, 2006.

Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada�s market intelligence leader, the country�s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid�s marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.