Experian-Gallup Survey Shows One in Four Consumers Report Having Their Personal and/or Financial Information Stolen

People With a College Education and Higher Incomes and Those Living in

Western States Report Highest Occurrences; Seven in 10 Say They Would Do

More to Avoid Being a Victim If They Knew What to Do

Oct 31, 2006, 00:00 ET from Experian

    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
 percentage points.
     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.
     About Experian
     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.
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 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
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     Contact:  Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre
               949 567 7646

SOURCE Experian