Three Ways Your Identity can be Stolen that You May Have Never Heard Of

Friday, September 29th, 2023

Juice jacking, QR code scanning, form jacking—these are cybercrimes, and according to respondents of the latest Agency Forward survey conducted by Nationwide, many have never even heard of them.

  • Concerns Are Mounting: 81% of consumers report being concerned about the risk of identity theft and 82% are concerned about the use of AI to steal someone's identity.

Why It Matters: The Federal Trade Commission received 5.7 million total fraud and identity theft reports, of those 1.4 million (25%) were specific to identity theft.

The Big Picture: 74% of respondents in the survey said they think that identity theft is now a part of modern life. There is a widespread understanding that recovering your identity after it has been stolen is not a simple matter, and 82% said it would be difficult to recover.

"If you have ID theft coverage it will make your recovery process much easier and give you access to an entire team of resolution and cyber risk specialist," said Beth Riczko, Nationwide's President P&C Personal Lines.

  • Yet only 20% currently have ID theft insurance—a coverage that can be surprisingly affordable and help you sort through the steps of getting your identity back.

Cybercrime Familiarity: respondents were more familiar with: 73% phishing, 66% fake job/lottery/prize scam, 59% website impersonation + public Wi-Fi hacking; and less familiar with: 43% form jacking, 38% QR code scam, 35% juice jacking.

While Most Are Taking Action to Reduce Risk, Many Still Reported Unsafe Habits

  • 91% reported monitoring their financial accounts + securing Wi-Fi with strong passwords, and 88% are updating devices with security software.

More Effort Is Needed: Fewer are going to the extra mile when it comes to protecting themselves: 48% use VPN on public Wi-Fi, 42% subscribe to an ID theft monitoring service, 22% subscribe to a dark web monitoring service.

Vulnerabilities Reported: 54% use the same password on multiple sites, 39% use QR codes to make purchases/view menus, 37% share personal information over the phone.

Consider This: each year 9 million Americans are impacted by ID theft & fraud with only a few incidents reported, indicating a large number of attacks go unsolved every year.

The Big Misconceptions About ID Theft Coverage

20% of consumers said they currently have ID theft insurance. For those who don't: 38% don't know enough about it, 35% think it's too expensive, 29% think they take enough precautions to reduce their risk of identity theft.

  • 52% mistakenly believe you need separate policies for each family member
    • Nationwide's ID theft insurance covers the entire household under the indemnity and resolution services, with two adults having access to the Identity Protection Portal
  • 48% think you need to hire a lawyer even when you have ID theft insurance
    • If you have Nationwide's ID theft protection most cases can be solved through our resolution services, making it highly unlikely that you'll need a lawyer

"You can protect your digital identity for a lot less than you think—about $4 a month. Many people don't even realize their home/auto insurer would provide this type of coverage—and the coverage has some really good features," said Riczko.

The Bottom Line: There is general confusion on the perceived cost of ID theft insurance coverage—35% are not purchasing it because of what they think it will cost, yet 78% of respondents said they would be willing to spend some money on ID theft protection.

  • 62% said they are willing to spend up to $49 a month on ID protection

Nationwide offers ID theft coverage for $45 a year (that is less than $4 a month) that includes cyber protection services, an identity protection portal and resolution services features—this can be added to any home or auto policy.

"I'd suggest anyone check with their insurance agent to see what ID theft coverages are available to them and identify vulnerabilities," added Riczko.

Go Deeper: Read more or watch a video about Nationwide's ID theft protection i