This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Less Than One Quarter Of Taxpayers Very Concerned About Identity Theft When Filing Returns

Stocks in this article: LOCK

Despite recent reports showing increases in identity theft, consumers’ knowledge on identity theft is not keeping pace with the crime. According to the new 2013 LifeLock Tax Fraud Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of LifeLock in February, among 2,090 U.S. adults age 18 and older, less than one quarter (24 percent) of taxpayers selected the top 2 points of concern on a 5 point scale about identity theft when filing their returns. Additionally, 70 percent of Americans think it is possible for a fraudster to use their name and Social Security Number (SSN) to file a return before they do, blocking the actual taxpayer’s refund from the IRS. Yet despite this concern, 38% of those who have previous years’ returns saved on their computer do not have password protection for these files.

In February 2013 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released their annual “ Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book” that looked at consumer complaints from January 1 through December 21, 2012. Identity theft was the number one complaint category in the Consumer Sentinel Network, and of those more than 369,000 complaints, Government Documents and Benefits fraud accounted for 46% of all complaints. As noted by the FTC, identity theft related to Government Documents and Benefits includes Tax or Wage Related Fraud, accounting for 43% of the complaints.

“As a company that sees identity theft threats 24/7, we are concerned about the large disconnect between this growing threat and consumer education. This is really playing into the hands of identity thieves,” said LifeLock President Hilary Schneider.

The survey examined Americans’ identity fraud concerns and tax return filing behavior for tax season.

The 2013 LifeLock Tax Fraud Survey highlights include:

  • No Password = No Protection – Nearly three in ten (29 percent) Americans keep copies of previous years’ tax returns on their computer, but 38 percent of this group do not protect their returns with a password. This makes these returns more vulnerable to criminals through peer-to-peer file sharing programs or lost devices.
  • College Graduates at Great Risk – Those who are college graduates or have higher education (45 percent) are more likely than those with some college education or less (22 percent) to store copies of previous years’ tax returns on a computer, but 44 percent of this group still did not have the return password-protected.
  • North Versus South – Americans in the Southern states (27 percent) are more likely to have selected the top 2 points on a 5 point scale of concern about identity theft when filing compared to their Northeastern counterparts (18 percent).

* http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats---Numbers-of-Returns-Filed-by-Type-of-Return---IRS-Data-Book-Table-2

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of LifeLock from February 4 th to 6 th, 2013 among 2,090 adults ages 18 and older. When a population number was included, it was extrapolated from the number of Americans 18 and older in the most recent U.S. Census data. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Scott Love of Schwartz MSL at lifelock@schwartzmsl.com.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

About LifeLock

LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE:LOCK), is a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and identity risk assessment and fraud protection services for enterprises. Since 2005, LifeLock has been relentlessly protecting identities by providing consumers with the tools and confidence they need to help protect themselves from identity theft and manage their credit. In October 2012, Javelin Strategy & Research named LifeLock Ultimate™ a “Best in Class Overall” identity theft protection solution and also named it “Best in Detection”. In March 2012, LifeLock further demonstrated its commitment to combating identity fraud with the purchase of ID Analytics, Inc., a leader in enterprise identity risk management that provides visibility into identity risk and credit worthiness. ID Analytics, Inc. currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of LifeLock, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs