Hacked Credit Cards More Frightening Than Murder

It seems the amount of high profile credit card data breaches over the past year are resonating with American shoppers.  As the holiday shopping season approaches, the findings of a new Gallup research poll seem to reinforce concerns that Americans will be hesitant to whip out the credit card this holiday season.

Gallup is one of the leading research based consultant companies that is famous for its public opinion polls.  The firm conducts an annual crime poll every October to identify what types of crimes Americans fear being made the victim.

The results of the poll indicate cyber crime is the biggest concern for the majority of respondents.  69 percent of people polled said their greatest fear is having their credit card account details stolen by hackers for fraud, and 62 percent of respondents said their second biggest concern was having their smartphone or computer compromised by hackers.

The responses towards cyber crime dwarfed concerns regarding more serious crimes.  Only 18 percent of respondents said their greatest fear was being murdered or sexually assaulted, while 42 percent of people worry about having their car vandalized.

The credit card data breaches at Target, Home Depot, and other retailers are clearly weighing on the minds of many Americans.  The Gallup responses also suggest that older cardholders who make between $30,000 and $75,000 per year, a trend commented on by the polling agency.

Americans between the ages of 30 and 64 worry about this more than younger and older Americans do.”

If the polling numbers do reflect the collective opinions of all Americans, retailers should prepare for a very low volume of credit card business this holiday season.