Pop Culture Portrayals of Fraud Have Mixed Effect on Vulnerability, Says Report

Pop Culture Portrayals of Fraud Have Mixed Effect on Vulnerability, Says Report

August 25, 2022

Online fraud has had an elevated presence in pop culture recently, and a new study finds mixed results on the effect that exposure has on consumers’ likelihood of succumbing to fraud scams. Identity verification and authentication technology provider Onfido surveyed thousands of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. to ask what effect popular true-crime documentaries like The Tinder Swindler have had on their perceived vulnerability to online fraud.

On one hand, the report found, nearly 60 percent of those polled say they are now more cautious about trusting others online because they have seen a fraud documentary or dramatization. Because they are more attuned to online fraud, however, many consumers seem to have a false sense of security. Nearly 20 percent believe they would not fall for fraud.

Overall, nearly one-third of U.S. and U.K. consumers said they are now skeptical of online businesses and nearly 40 percent would now withhold personally identifiable information when engaging with them. Sixty-five percent did indicate they would use online sites more if they knew there were identity verification solutions at work. 

“True crime and fraud-related entertainment stories have become widespread and popular. This is having a very real impact on how society views and perceives the prevalence and severity of fraud as a crime,” comments Mike Tuchen, CEO of Onfido. “As a result, consumers are growing increasingly wary of online interactions, amid concerns over fraudster tactics and the security of their identities. For businesses, this means adopting new digital verification methods that offer a seamless onboarding experience that also mitigates fraud. This will go a long way in building trust and loyalty among their customers in the online world.”

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