COSTA MESA, Calif., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the latest
Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index(SM) survey, one in five (19 percent)
consumers report that they have had their financial information stolen
including a bank or credit card number. Approximately one in seven (14
percent) say they have had their personal information stolen, such as a
birth certificate, driver's license or Social Security number. Combined, 26
percent of Americans report being the victim of one type of theft, while 7
percent report experiencing both. More results for the Personal Credit
Index(SM) can be found at www.PersonalCreditIndex.com.
Three in 10 consumers among the following demographic groups report
having had their personal or financial information stolen: college
graduates (30 percent), those reporting annual household incomes of $75,000
or more (30 percent), people residing in the Western region of the country
(31 percent), and Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 (30 percent).
Twenty-one percent of those who had experienced either form of theft said
that they knew the person who stole their information.
Seventy-five percent of Americans think credit card fraud is identity
theft. Although about half (49 percent) of all Americans say they think it
is unlikely that they will be a victim of identity theft, 70 percent said
they would take more steps to prevent being a victim if they knew what to
"Securing personal and financial information should be part of a
person's lifestyle," said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct.
"A few things for people to keep in mind that can help protect their
financial and personal information include shredding sensitive information,
never providing personal or financial information to an unknown source and
keeping track of the information in their credit report -- changes in a
credit report could be an indication of fraud."
About one-third (34 percent) of Americans think there is nothing they
can do to prevent what they perceive as identity theft. The percentage is
even higher, 42 percent, among those under the age of 30. "While every
American should be aware of the risks associated with having their
financial or personal information stolen, young adults, in particular,
should recognize that the theft is often committed by someone they know,"
said Dennis Jacobe, chief economist for The Gallup Organization. "In fact,
the results of our survey show that 42 percent of those in this younger age
group knew the person who stole their information."
Regarding consumers' perceptions about their current and future credit
situation, consumers became more negative this past month, as the
Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index declined by seven points to 85. "The
plummeting real-estate markets and high consumer debt loads may be
offsetting the benefits of today's much lower gas prices at the pump," said
Jacobe. "The extent of the housing plunge may well determine whether the
economy experiences a so-called soft landing -- or something worse -- in
More information about the Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index can be
found on the official Web site at www.PersonalCreditIndex.com.
About the Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index
The Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index is based on a monthly
nationwide survey of households and measures four key areas related to
credit: level of debt, monthly payment burden, credit rating and debt
extension capability. The sampling was conducted in July, August and
September 2006 and included 3,032 adults, age 18 and over, randomly
selected from across the country. The sampling error is plus or minus two
About The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization has studied human nature and behavior for more
than 70 years. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in
management, economics, psychology and sociology. Gallup performance
management systems help organizations increase customer engagement and
maximize employee productivity through measurement tools, course work and
strategic advisory services. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services
at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University's campuses
and in 40 offices around the world.
Experian is a global leader in providing analytical and information
services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward
of commercial and financial decisions. Combining its unique information
tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies,
Experian partners with organizations around the world to establish and
strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with
competitive advantage. For consumers, Experian delivers critical
information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions
with greater control and confidence. Clients include organizations from
financial services, retail and catalog, telecommunications, utilities,
media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property
and government sectors.
Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN)
and is a constituent of the FTSE-100 index. It has corporate headquarters
in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and
Nottingham, UK. Experian employs more than 12,500 people in 32 countries
worldwide, supporting clients in more than 60 countries. Annual sales are
in excess of $3.1 billion.
For more information, visit the Group's Web site at
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countries and is owned by Experian Ltd. and/or its associated companies.
Contact: Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre
949 567 7646