Study: Credit card fraud Americans' biggest fear

It 'out-fears' war, terror, hacking and deadly epidemics

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Credit and debit card fraud is the No. 1 fear of Americans in the midst of the global  financial crisis, according to a report by Unisys, an information technology company. Concern about fraud supersedes that of terrorism, computer and health viruses and personal safety.

According to research conducted in February 2009 and released in March, 68 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents are extremely or very concerned about other people obtaining their credit or debit card data. Additionally, 66 percent of respondents said they are extremely or very concerned about identity fraud.

Only 58 percent said they are extremely or very concerned about terrorism and war, and 41 percent say they feel the same about a serious health epidemic occurring. National security issues such as war and terrorism were at the lowest measurement of concern among the respondents since the the company began the survey, which is compounded into the Unisys Security Index, in August 2007.

The index is a biannual statistical measure about consumers' concerns in the area of national, financial, Internet and personal safety and security. Eight specific issues, which vary depending on current events and the region the index is measured, are weighed against the categories. Consumer concern is taken on a scale of zero to 300.

"The economy's pervasive effects go well beyond job losses and home foreclosures," says Tim Kelleher, vice president and general manager of Managed Security Services for Unisys. "Our data show most people see an immediate, personal risk from greater fraud."

See related: 'Tokenization' touted to increase credit card data security, How to check for, fix ID theft or fraudCredit card fraud victims more likely to recover losses, When hit by ID theft, take these 4 steps to make things right, New survey finds most common ID theft victims, Credit card video: 6 tips to protect yourself from ID theft 

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Updated: 01-23-2019