Skip to main content

TransUnion Study Shows Consumers Concerned Over Sharing Personal Information as Identity Theft Fear Remains High

Computer with code on screen

A wide majority of Americans report some concern over sharing their personal information to complete transactions online, a response with potentially wide-ranging ramifications for e-commerce. According to TransUnion’s third quarter Consumer Pulse Survey, fully 75 percent of respondents said they had concerns about sharing personal information online with identify theft leading as the core concern (74 percent).

These figures represent real staying power for consumer’s online fears, showing little decline from past results. But while Americans remain concerned about the threat of online fraud, there is a silver lining in the way Americans actually experience online fraud. Only a third of those surveyed reported being targeted by a digital fraud attempt (34 percent), a figure that remained flat between Q2 and Q3. Likewise, the percentage of respondents who reported actually falling victim to a scam remained flat as well, sitting at just 9 percent.

Phishing attempts represented a plurality of the attacks targeting consumers (30 percent), with stolen credit card information next (26 percent) and money/gift card scams after that (24 percent).

It’s no surprise that consumers are more concerned about sharing critical financial information than they are about sharing their phone number or email address. For example, two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) said they would abandon an online application that requested their social security number, while nearly half (47 percent) said the same of their driver’s license. However, only a slim minority of respondents said that they might abandon an application requiring their phone number (21 percent) or email address (19 percent).

TU’s survey also reflects findings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2021 Internet Crime Report. While complaints of online fraud are up overall, the report found a rise in identify theft and phishing attempts, while showing a drop in crimes like online extortion or non-payment.

This data comes as Congress is considering legislation to adopt a federal data privacy standard. TransUnion is working to ensure any final legislation fully recognizes the role that consumer data plays in preventing online fraud.  As fraud tactics increase in frequency and sophistication, consumers still demand a seamless experience when transacting through digital channels. TransUnion’s fraud analytics solutions can combat fraud at inception with early detection and prevention, empowering businesses to operate with confidence across the entire customer transaction lifecycle.

What’s clear is that Americans are aware of and rightly concerned about the threats they face online. The key is to continue offering the tools required to protect against those threats so consumers can transact online with confidence.  

If you’re a consumer with questions or issues related to your personal credit report, drivers history report, disputes, fraud, identity theft, credit report freeze or credit monitoring services, please visit our Customer Support Center for assistance.

Business Contact Us

We're sorry, your request failed. Please try again in a little while.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.