Next Caller 2017 Holiday Fraud Forecast Shows 57% of Consumers Flat-footed

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Study Finds Consumers Largely Unprepared for Fraud this Holiday Season After Equifax Hack

With holiday shopping season -- the most lucrative period of the year for fraudsters -- just around the corner, fraud detection company Next Caller today released their 2017 Holiday Season Fraud Forecast. The report, co-authored by Brett Johnson, a Next Caller fraud consultant and former ‘Most Wanted’ list cybercriminal, dives into how the combination of the recent Equifax breach and a lack of preparedness amongst Americans is likely to lead to an uptick in crime perpetrated against consumers and businesses this holiday season. The report can be viewed at bit.ly/NCHolidayFraud.

“The holiday season is normally a very active period for fraudsters, which leads to billions of dollars in annual losses,” said Next Caller CEO, Ian Roncoroni. “With the recent Equifax breach compromising a staggering amount of sensitive information for over 145 million Americans, consumers and businesses need to be on higher alert over the next couple of months.”

According to the National Retail Foundation, retailers lose upwards of $2.2B due to fraud each holiday season. With the breached information of millions of victims now in the hands of bad actors who can sell it in dark web marketplaces, this information is already being circulated and leveraged to commit financial crimes and identity theft.

Soon after the breach was exposed, Americans were advised to take preventative steps to lessen the chances of becoming victims, including freezing their credit, carefully reviewing credit reports for suspicious activity, and keeping a vigilant eye on their finances going forward. Surprisingly, research commissioned by Next Caller as part of this report found a significant lack of concern and preparedness amongst consumers.

“It’s hard to understate the value that the information stolen during the Equifax breach has for fraudsters during this holiday season and beyond,” said Brett Johnson, the report's co-author and former ‘Most Wanted’ list cybercriminal turned consultant. “While it’s good to see that many individuals have begun taking some measures to protect themselves, Next Caller’s research found a real false sense of security amongst consumers. This is worrisome because nothing leaves you more vulnerable.”

Some of the data and key findings from the report include:

  • Over 56% of consumers said they are NOT more concerned about becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season.
  • 30% said that they are not taking any precautions to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft this holiday season.
  • Only 16% of U.S. consumers are taking expert's advice to place a freeze on credit.
  • 40% of consumers are monitoring their credit and bank usage online to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft this holiday season.
  • 36% report they will not click on unknown emails and 34% noted they will not answer calls from unknown numbers.

The full report can be viewed here: bit.ly/NCHolidayFraud

About Next Caller’s 2017 Holiday Season Fraud Forecast
To supplement its own institutional knowledge and personal expertise in the fraud protection space, Next Caller commissioned a study administered to 500 U.S. respondents aged 18+ and weighted for the U.S. population by age, region, and gender. The Survey was conducted between September 21, 2017 and September 23, 2017.     

About Next Caller
Next Caller is a leading provider of authentication and fraud detection technology with a mission to create a positive customer experience through real-time call verification. Next Caller delivers the trust that every business needs to provide a great customer experience without compromising security. For more information, visit http://www.nextcaller.com.

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