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New Research Findings: Miami Identity Fraud Victims Losing Trust in Business, Expect Government Action to Protect Them from Data Breaches

New research released today by the National Consumers League (NCL) and Javelin Strategy & Research reveals disturbing trends for Miami residents who have been affected by data breaches and identity fraud. Nearly half of identity fraud victims are unaware where their information was compromised, while 61 percent of those who were also data breach victims reported that the breached information was used to commit fraud. The majority of data breaches affecting fraud victims involved a compromised retailer; fraud victims also reported that their information was used to make unauthorized purchases, either online (31 percent) or in person (39 percent). As a result, Miami identity fraud victims are losing trust in retailers’ ability to keep their personal information secure and prevent it from being used to commit fraud.

Today, these findings and more will be released by NCL at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, where it will launch its #DataInsecurity Project, with a panel discussion featuring keynote remarks delivered by United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer and a panel of experts, to be moderated by award-winning, bilingual journalist Helen Aguirre Ferré.

Panelists Include:

  • John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud, National Consumers League
  • Alphonse “Al” Pascual, Senior Analyst of Fraud and Security, Javelin Strategy and Research
  • Thomas DiNanno, Senior Managing Partner, Axon Global Services
  • Luis Salazar, Partner, Salazar Jackson
  • Anthony DiMarco, Executive Vice President, Florida Bankers Association

The National Consumers League is kicking off the national #DataInsecurity Project to raise awareness and push for action on consumer data security in Miami today because Florida ranks first in the nation for per capita identity theft and fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The next event is July 8 in Los Angeles featuring FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny and Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education & Policy for the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General.

#DataInsecurity Project Findings on Miami Metropolitan Area Victims

The project today also released new research examining the impact of data breaches and identity fraud on consumer victims in four key regions nationwide, including the Miami metropolitan area. According to the study, Americans are urgently calling out for government action on the growing threat posed by data breach and identity theft.

The study, conducted in partnership with Javelin Strategy & Research, shows that the impact of data breaches on consumers is indeed severe: 61 percent of data breach victims who also experienced identity theft reported that the breached information was used to commit the fraud against them. What’s more, nearly half of fraud victims -- 49 percent -- do not know where the information used to defraud them was compromised.

“Data insecurity is leading to real consumer harm and this report confirms consumers are at a loss for where to turn in the face of this national problem,” said John Breyault, NCL’s Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud. “As consumers share vast amounts of personal data with businesses, government and other entities, they expect their information to be protected from malicious hackers.”

The NCL/Javelin study, which includes surveys of fraud victims from Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Minneapolis, along with additional Javelin research on national fraud trends, found that consumers are calling for government to take action. A mere 28 percent of victims surveyed said the government’s requirements for protecting healthcare and financial data were “sufficient.”

In Miami, 31 percent of fraud victims said their data was used to make online purchases and 39 percent said their information was used to make purchases in-person. Among fraud victims in Miami, 80 percent of had received a notice of data breach previously which corresponds with reporting by victims in Los Angeles (82 percent), but it is better than in Chicago (72 percent) and Minneapolis (66 percent) where the rates of data breach notification among fraud victims were lower.

“In this polarized political climate, it’s rare for Americans to express such agreement on any issue,” said Al Pascual, Javelin’s Senior Analyst of Fraud & Security. “But when it comes to the security of their personally identifiable information, the respondents said with one voice that the government must do more.”

According to the new study, the consequences of consumer fraud have a serious ripple effect: fraud victims report losing trust in the businesses where their data was compromised. For example, 59 percent of respondents whose data was breached at a retailer expressed “significantly decreased” trust in retailers who failed to protect their information. “When consumer trust drops, so do sales,” added Breyault, “This study is only the latest evidence for why the business community should be one of the most vocal advocates for protecting consumer data.”

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

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