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Gallup: 23% of Americans experienced cybercrime

By Allen Cone
Twenty-three percent of Americans said they or someone in their household experienced cybercrime in the past year, according to a Gallup survey. Photo by Antonov Roman/Shutterstock.com
Twenty-three percent of Americans said they or someone in their household experienced cybercrime in the past year, according to a Gallup survey. Photo by Antonov Roman/Shutterstock.com

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Nearly one in four Americans said they or someone in their household experienced cybercrime, including personal, credit card or financial information stolen by computer hackers in the past year, a Gallup survey released Tuesday indicated.

The rate is 2 percentage points lower than last year's 25 percent, the survey said.

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In Gallup's annual crime survey conducted Oct. 1-10, 1,019 adults were asked if they have fallen victim to nine different types of criminal activity within the past 12 months.

Identity theft ranked second at 16 percent. Property theft at 14 percent was the most likely physical crime to affect respondents. Also, 11 percent reported vandalism of a home, vehicle or property.

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The other crimes and percentages were: house or apartment break-in at 3 percent; household member mugged or physically assaulted at 2 percent; and 1 percent each for money or property taken by force, sexual assault and car stolen.

In all, 24 percent of Americans have been victimized by one of these crimes in the past year -- not including cybercrime or identity theft. That is up from 22 percent last year, which tied in 2001 for the lowest in Gallup's 18-year trend. Only recently has cybercrime and identity theft been included in Gallup surveys.

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In a study previously released, 71 percent of Americans worry about cybercrime and 67 percent about identity theft.

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"The public's level of worry about these two types of crimes is substantially higher than worry about any other type of criminal activity and, based on their reported levels of victimization, is justified," Gallup's RJ Reinhart said.

Gallup noted that, according to federal law enforcement reports, there were 2.7 million victims of identity theft and fraud in 2017 alone. In addition, 30 percent of U.S. consumers were affected by data breaches last year.

In statistics compiled by the FBI, there were 392.9 incidents of violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2017.

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The Gallup survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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