January 6, 2005, 12:00 AM

How e-mail fraud awareness impacts customer behavior

With rising awareness of e-mail fraud and identity theft, consumers are more cautious regarding electronic messages from companies.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


Concerns about e-mail fraud are impacting how consumers are behaving online, including shopping, says a new report from Forrester Research. "Online consumers might not be aware of terms like phishing and spoofing, but that doesn`t mean that they are not concerned," says Catherine Graber, Forrester research analyst. In a recent survey of more than 5,000 consumers, Forrester found that only 27% of people surveyed were familiar with phishing and spoofing with women significantly less aware than men.

But 74% also said they were concerned about e-mail fraud, with people aged 40-57 voicing the most concern (79%) and consumers age 18-28 the least (62%). With the rising awareness of both e-mail fraud and identity theft, consumers are being more cautious regarding electronic messages from companies.

In fact, says Forrester, 26% of those surveyed will not apply for a financial product online, which can include using an auto dealer`s site to apply for credit or signing up for a new credit card on a banking or retailing web site. To make consumers and online shoppers feel more comfortable, Forrester says companies should make customer education about ways to prevent e-mail fraud and identify theft a bigger priority and extend their online security guarantee to include explicit coverage for unauthorized transactions due to e-mail fraud.



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