Nearly Three-Quarters Of Americans Concerned About Identity Theft During Holiday Shopping Season

Generali Global Assistance releases findings from its annual survey on holiday shopping patterns and the resulting issue of consumer identity theft

Bethesda, Md. – November 28, 2018 – The vast majority of Americans (71%) are concerned that their financial and personal information could be compromised due to data breaches while shopping during this holiday season, according to an consumer survey conducted by Generali Global Assistance (“GGA” or “the Company”), a developer of a proprietary and innovative identity and digital protection platform, and leader in the assistance industry as part of the multinational Generali Group. Currently in its second year, the survey identifies holiday shopping trends and consumer sentiment on the risks holiday shopping poses to identity theft.

The survey found that 91 percent of Americans plan to shop during the holiday season, with the top three shopping options being: brick and mortar (65%), online via a laptop / desktop computer (59%), and mobile devices (36%). Whether they are at brick-and-mortar or online stores, 64 percent of holiday shoppers plan to shop at 2-5 stores, with another 23 percent saying they will shop at 6-10 stores.

Regardless of the preferred shopping method, 33 percent of consumers say businesses are not doing all they can to protect their personal information, and 33 percent say they are unsure if businesses are doing enough, a decrease of seven and five percent respectively from 2017. Moreover, if a retailer experienced a data breach in the past, 83 percent of shoppers feel concerned making an online or in-store purchase at that retailer.

Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today’s news, “With 2017 recording an all-time high of over 1,500 data breaches, consumers are more aware of the threats associated with holiday shopping and the need for businesses to better protect their data. Though consumers are less confident in a business’s ability to protect their data, offering identity protection establishes trust and sends a clear message that they take the burden and privilege of protecting data seriously.”

When it comes to identity theft, data breaches from online merchants (51%) far outweighed other risks on shoppers’ minds. Twenty percent believed brick-and-mortar point-of-sale systems cause a threat to identity theft, while 15 percent feared their identity theft could result from being pickpocketed or robbed. Ten percent feared it would result from having their car broken into.

To ease consumer anxiety, the survey found that 55 percent of Americans would feel more confident that a business is actively working to protect their data and reduce risk if they offered identity protection services. Likewise, retail businesses that either offer identity protection services or that plan to do so in the future instill greater confidence in 68 percent of Americans, a 12 percent increase from 2017.

As concerns over data breaches grow, the most popular form of payment for holiday purchases this year will be cash (56%). Debit (52%) and credit cards (45%) were a close second and third. In 2017, the most popular form of payment for holiday purchases was through a credit card (57%).

Schaffer concluded, “For many, the holiday season is stressful enough without having to worry that one’s identity will be stolen. Safeguarding your customers’ identities and financial well-being through identity protection services is one way to demonstrate that, as a business, you understand your customer’s needs.”

To learn more about Generali Global Assistance’s identity protection offering, please visit

Survey Methodology
The “Holiday Identity Theft” survey was conducted by ORC on behalf of Generali Global Assistance between November 12 and November 14, 2018.  The survey was conducted online for 1,004 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older, comprised of 484 men and 520 women.

About Generali Global Assistance
Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of identity and digital protection solutions, travel insurance, and other assistance services for more than 35 years.  The Company offers a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services, identity protection solutions, and beneficiary companion services.  Generali Global Assistance is part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 74,000 employees.  Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.

GGA Media Contact
Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)
+1 212.266.0191

GGA Marketing Contact
Eugenia Buggs
VP, Global Marketing, Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit
+1 240.330.1091