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Identity Theft Costs Time and Money; Study Finds That Identity Theft Protection Services Can Help

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

TEMPE, Ariz., March 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recently released study conducted by Harris Interactive for LifeLock, examining U.S. consumers' awareness of and usage habits with regards to protecting their identity finds that identity theft victims who subscribed to an identity theft protection service (ITPS) reported spending less time and money resolving the issue than did victims who were not covered at the time of the incident. The study sponsor, LifeLock, was not identified to participants.
"Identity theft can clearly cause headaches for its victims," says Todd Davis, LifeLock Chairman and CEO.  "And, while there are many things we can each do to help protect ourselves from being a victim, based on this survey, Identity Theft Protection Services can help to reduce the impact of identity fraud."

The online survey of 3,047 U.S. adults, 21 years or older, including 1,366 current subscribers of identity theft protection services, and conducted in December 2010 detailed high rates of satisfaction (72% responded with an 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale where 1=Not At All Satisfied and 10=Extremely Satisfied) with their identity theft protection service on the basis of the increased peace of mind and convenience provided.  When compared with those who do not subscribe to ITPS, subscribers reported: 

  • Significantly higher levels of confidence in their protection from identity theft issues, such as credit card fraud, internet security in general, identity theft, and credit report tampering     (64% current ITPS subscribers are confident in their protection vs. 38% among non-subscribers)
  • A belief that ITPS services "enable their customers to have peace of mind from identity breaches" (75% of current subscribers agree ITPS delivers peace of mind, compared to 45% of non-subscribers)
  • Significantly higher agreement that ITPS "protect their customers from identity theft in ways they cannot do themselves" (79% vs. 44%)

There are indications they have may good reason to have greater peace of mind, as victims who claimed to have ITPS at the time of identity theft fraud (relative to those with no ITPS at the time of the identity theft fraud):

  • Spent significantly less time to resolve issue (average self-reported hours spent:  45 hours vs. 86 hours),
  • Experienced significantly less time till their identity is recovered (average self-reported weeks involved: 5.3 weeks vs. 20.2 weeks), and
  • Had to personally outlay less money (average self-reported dollars spent: $345 vs. $1,109)

Finally, current ITPS subscribers assert that their ITPS service provides prevention and detection capabilities which further enhance their peace of mind:

  • 69% mentioned that ITPS notified them of potentially fraudulent use of their personal information
  • 69% indicated that ITPS prevented a potential identity theft issue.

Survey methodology

This study was conducted online within the United States between December 8 to 27, 2010 among 3,047 adults (aged 21 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.  Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys and were not informed of the sponsor of the survey. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Cortney Lanik
Manager, Educational Programs

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom 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 expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit or contact

About LifeLock

LifeLock, Inc. is an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection. 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. The company has a strong focus on educating consumers and working with law enforcement and elected officials to better understand the increasing threats of identity theft. A multiple award-winning organization, LifeLock has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as the eighth fastest growing private company (2010), by Arizona Corporate Excellence as Arizona's Fastest Growing Company, and by the American Business Awards as having the Best New Product or Service of the Year for the LifeLock Identity Alert™ system.

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