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Monroe, LA
Better Business Bureau Web Survey Reveals Consumers Focus On Wrong Issues In Their Concern About ID Theft
September 07, 2012

Monroe, LA – September 7, 2012 – Fear of lost or stolen credit cards ranks as the highest identity theft concern among consumers. However, more serious and costly threats are considered less worrisome, according to a poll by the Better Business Bureau in August 2012.

Thirty percent of the respondents ranked credit card loss or theft as their greatest ID protection concern. Another 23 percent worried hackers would steal credit card and personal data from a business database. Rated least concerning, by 14 percent of those responding, was the disposal of personal papers in the garbage. Also low on the anxiety list was use of credit card information online (18 percent) or on the telephone (15 percent).

"Losing or having a credit card stolen is certainly a worry," said Jo Ann Deal, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Monroe and Northeast Louisiana. "However, credit card companies have elaborate security programs to quickly stop credit access and limit consumer financial exposure to fraudulent use. On a rating scale, credit card loss is towards the less distressful end, though it should always be guarded against."

Deal explained that consumers should be most worried about the material they have the most control over, their personal papers in the trash. Yet, she said, this was the area where the fewest expressed concern.

"Papers with personal data and credit card numbers on them can be a treasure trove of information for fraudsters, and a serious risk to consumers," said Deal. "Shredding these types of documents is essential for any type of personal identity protection plan.

"Personal documents that are not shredded can be used without any safeguards or the consumer's knowledge until the person's credit score suffers or a bill appears from use of a credit card that the consumer never applied for."

Hackers getting access to business databases is a growing concerning and one that will likely continue, Deal noted. However, businesses continue to take action and improve their security.

"Consumers need to take control over what they have their hands on," urged Mrs. Deal. "Guard credit cards and shred any documents with personal information. These are two actions every person can take to lessen the risk of their identity being stolen."

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As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.