Gallup: US credit card theft declines 2015

GMT 20:43 2015 Saturday ,24 October

Arab Today, arab today Gallup: US credit card theft declines 2015

Washington - XINHUA

Twenty-two percent of Americans in 2015 said they or a household member had credit card information stolen by hackers, down from 27 percent of 2014, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

Last year, when Gallup first included credit card hacking on its list of several crimes, more Americans said they had been a victim of credit card theft than of any other crime. Although that number is down this year, credit card theft remains the highest reported crime in 2015, Gallup found.

Last year was a record year for hacking, and millions of customers' credit card information was stolen. In response, many banks and credit card companies have sent their customers new cards that contain an embedded EMV chip. These chips help stop hackers from stealing a copy of a customer's credit card, according to Gallup.

Furthermore, beginning in October 2015, stores that have not upgraded their technology to allow the use of EMV chips for purchases, and instead continue to scan magnetic strips, are liable for the theft of customer information, rather than the credit card company, Gallup said.

In the same poll, Gallup asked a separate question about how frequently Americans worry about 13 different crimes, such as getting mugged and car theft. This year, 34 percent report worrying "frequently" and 35 percent "occasionally" about having their credit card information stolen.

While the combined 69 percent who worry matches the 2014 figure, the percentage who worry frequently is down from 41 percent, while the percentage who worry occasionally is up, according to Gallup.

This indicates that while Americans are concerned about their credit card information being hacked from stores where they shopped, it is less troubling to them now than it was last year, Gallup said.

The large number of hacks in 2013 and 2014 brought significant changes, including upgrading U.S. credit cards to the chip technology used in the rest of the world.

They also helped raise awareness among consumers of the need to monitor credit cards and use safe passwords. And the new chip cards will also lead to the eventual replacement of signatures, which can be forged, with PIN numbers that have to be remembered,

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