Gartner research has reported that 7.5% of consumers it surveyed have lost money due to some sort of financial fraud, most of the time breaches of their credit and debit card security.

The Stamford, Connecticut financial research firm surveyed nearly 5,000 U.S. adults in September 2008 to gauge the impact of identity theft, and the leading types of financial fraud. Payment card fraud–credit, debit and ATM card fraud–was the method most actively used by crooks to steal money, claiming 36% more victims in 2008 than other types of fraud. New-account fraud, in which a thief steals identity information to open a new account, occurs less frequently than payment card fraud, although Gartner estimates that up to half of all new-account frauds involve synthetic identities, and therefore many cases go unreported.

"When compared with the average consumer, nearly twice as many people who lost money to fraud in 2008 changed their shopping, payment and e-commerce behavior," said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Furthermore, fraud victims are also more cautious about which brick-and-mortar stores they shop at and how they pay for goods when they get there, demonstrating more awareness of the risk of data breaches."

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