As the use of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII) by businesses continues to evolve, sensitive data is constantly being placed at risk of compromise. To ensure that consumers can take necessary actions to protect themselves after a breach has occurred, 47 states have enacted data breach notification laws. This white paper explores the attitudes, experiences, and perceptions of fraud victims in four metropolitan areas: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Minneapolis.

To better understand the data breach-identity fraud paradigm, Javelin surveyed fraud victims in four major metropolitan areas across the U.S.: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Minneapolis. In comparing the experiences of fraud victims who had suffered a data breach with those who did not, the effects of data breaches on the integrity of consumer identities are readily apparent. It is evident that data breaches have become part of the public consciousness, specifically because of their role in facilitating identity fraud. This has severe implications for all stakeholders, as affected consumers are holding a variety of organizations accountable for failing to protect their P11 from being compromised, bought, sold, and misused by fraudsters, hackers, and other criminal entities. Changing the status quo is critical to maintaining consumer trust in an environment where P11 is successfully stolen en masse, on an all too regular basis.

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In March 2014, the National Consumers League retained Javelin Strategy & Research to conduct a comprehensive research study on data breach and fraud victims’ experiences, behaviors, and attitudes. The NCL conducted an online survey of 200 fraud victims in the Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Minneapolis metropolitan areas. The results of this study are not nationally representative and cannot be extrapolated to groups outside fraud victims in these four metropolitan areas. The overall margin of sampling error is +1- 6.93 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is larger for subsets of respondents.