Consumers absorb cybersecurity tips from popular culture

According to a new study 59 percent US and UK consumers are now more cautious about trusting others online thanks to having watched fraud documentaries.

The report from Onfido looks at the impact of popular shows like Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler and finds that 67 percent of consumers admit they have changed their outlook on fraud.

It’s possible, however, that consumers are being lured into a false sense of security as 17 percent already believe they would not fall for identity fraud, while others are becoming desensitized to its impact. As many as 34 percent of US respondents and 25 percent in the UK now believe that fraud is easy to carry out. Moreover, across the US and UK, 16 percent believe it is now a victimless crime and 15 percent say that the crime seems less serious than others.

There are changing attitudes when dealing with companies too, across the US and UK, 29 percent of consumers are now skeptical of businesses operating online, and 39 percent say they would withhold personally identifiable information when engaging with them. Nearly two-thirds of people (65 percent) agree that they would use online sites more if there were secure identity verification solutions to help prevent fraud and social abuse.

"True crime and fraud-related entertainment stories have become widespread and popular. This is having a very real impact on how society views and perceives the prevalence and severity of fraud as a crime," comments Mike Tuchen, CEO of Onfido. "As a result, consumers are growing increasingly wary of online interactions, amid concerns over fraudster tactics and the security of their identities."

There is also a recognition among consumers of the importance of education on identity fraud. This is both to protect themselves and to deter others from attempting to commit the crime. More than half (54 percent) of respondents say adults need better education on fraud protection, while 48 percent think the elderly need better education on navigating online fraud.

Tuchen adds, "For businesses, this means adopting new digital verification methods that offer a seamless onboarding experience that also mitigates fraud. This will go a long way in building trust and loyalty among their customers in the online world. By preventing identity fraud through better education and modern secure onboarding processes, businesses can drive greater consumer confidence in the digital services that are so crucial to driving revenue."

You can register for an upcoming webinar to discuss the findings being held on September 1st at 11am EDT.

Image credit: IgorVetushko/

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