Uk consumer attitudes to mobile phone theft 2010


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With mobile phones increasing in value, they are becoming more attractive to thieves, so you need to make sure your phone is safe at all times. Read our top tips on how to avoid being a target of mobile phone theft and see how many consumers have been victim of mobile theft in the past.

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Uk consumer attitudes to mobile phone theft 2010

  1. 1. UK ConsumerAttitudes toMobile Phone TheftA CPP white paperFebruary 2010
  2. 2. Contents 1.1 Foreword 1. Industry Facts 1.3 Research methodology 1.4 Key Findings - Driving phone theft is a perception that mobile phones are an easy and valuable commodity to sell on, combined with children targeting children as an easy target - A quarter of people have either had their phone lost or stolen or both - A quarter of victims of phone theft were pick-pocketed - 63 per cent of people have no mobile phone insurance - 84 per cent of consumers do not get their handset back - On average it takes six hours to report a mobile phone lost or stolen - Eight per cent of people know someone who has made a fraudulent insurance claim 1.5 Conclusion 1.6 Avoiding mobile phone-related crime 1.7 Further Information 1.8 About CPP UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  3. 3. Introduction 3 1.1 Foreword Almost eight out of ten consumers now have a mobile phone according to the British Crime Survey and for some age groups there is nearly 100 per cent penetration. With the latest generation of 3G – soon to be 4G and NFC – and handsets now costing hundreds of pounds, it is surprising that only two per cent of mobile phone owners of all ages have experienced theft. This equates to approximately 850,000 victims having experienced one of more mobile phone thefts in England and Wales. It is commonly recognised that fraud rises in a recession, and this survey in addition to the issue of theft, also looked at whether people knew of someone who had made a fraudulent claim on a mobile phone handset. Insurance fraud or ‘white collar’ crime as it is sometimes known, still does not carry the same stigma as other forms of criminal activity, yet it is something that affects us all through increased premium costs. The motivations for phone theft were also investigated and some of the results were quite surprising most notably around the ease and value of selling a stolen mobile handset. Building on the ubiquitous ownership of mobile phones, as handsets become more sophisticated, the issue of theft will become even more important as handsets contain more and more sensitive and financial information. The increase in banking applications on smart phones will no doubt find its way into contributing to the increase in online banking It is fraud losses that were up 55 per cent in the first half of 2009 to £34.0m (source: APACS). According to Berg Insight, users of m-banking will top 100 million in Europe by 2014 commonly and a further 80 million in North America; only 20 million used m-banking in 2008. recognised Some of the findings in this survey point to a required change in behaviour about safeguarding mobile phones in the future. This is if consumers are serious about protecting that fraud a device that not only keeps them in voice and SMS contact with friends and family, but increasingly is used for everyday activities like ordering the weekly shop, checking the rises in a weather, contactless payments and catching up with friends on Facebook. recession UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  4. 4. 4 1. Industry Facts - 78 per cent of individuals own a mobile phone according to the 2007/08 British Crime Survey (BCS), significantly higher than the 2006/07 BCS (76%) and 2005/06 BCS (74%) Around a - Ownership levels are greatest for adults aged 18-34 at 98 per cent among those aged 18 and 21 and 97 per cent in both the 22 to 24 and 25 to 34 agequarter (24%) group (2007/08 BCS) - Due to a combination of both high levels of ownership and relatively high theft of victims of rates, young people comprise a large proportion of all victims of mobile phone theft (2007/08 BCS)mobile phone - Around a quarter (24%) of victims of mobile phone theft were aged between theft were 10 and 17 and nearly half (46%) were aged between 10 and 24 (2007/08 BCS) - The most common locations for mobile phone thefts to take place were insideaged between a pub, bar or club, in the street and on public transport or in another public place 10 and 17 (16%, 19% and 20% respectively of all incidences in which as phone was stolen) - In six out of ten (61%) of incidences of mobile phones theft, a mobile phone was the only item stolen (2007/08 BCS) - The most common type of offence involving theft of a mobile phone was ‘other theft’, where the phone was not in the owner’s possession at the time it was stolen (42% of all incidences in which a phone was stolen), followed by theft from the person, where the phone was in the owner’s possession when it was stolen (29%). The proportions of incidents occurring as part of a robbery (11%) and a burglary in a dwelling (12%) were similar and there were relatively few that involved thefts of mobiles from a vehicle (7%) - 2007/08 BCS - A higher proportion of mobile phone thefts were reported to network providers (77%) than to the police (52%) - 2007/08 BCS 1.3 Research Methodology CPP commissioned research in February 2010 to look at the issue of mobile phone loss and theft and to understand consumer views on the issue of ‘white collar’ insurance fraud across the UK. It looked at how many people have had their phone stolen or lost and attitudinal statement as to whether they would be prepared to break the law in order to get a new or enhanced mobile phone handset. A representative sample of just over 2,000 UK mobile phone holders aged 18+ were questioned by Research Now Ltd. UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  5. 5. 5 1.4 Key Findings Driving phone theft is a perception that mobile phones are an easy and valuable commodity to sell on, combined with children targeting children as an easy target When asked what is driving the increase in mobile phone theft, nearly six in ten mobile owners believe it is because mobile phones are an easy commodity to sell on. This point also probably links in the other dominant and complementary factors, such as that children target other children as easy victims of phone theft (50%), the Police are not concerned with mobile phone theft (43%) and mobile phones are a valuable commodity to sell on (37%) and there is a huge market for stolen mobile phones (34%). Interestingly, and no longer surprising, there is the perception that mobile phones now contain lots of valuable information (38%) and this is helping to drive phone theft. The proliferation of smart phones and online banking applications supports this view, as more and more people turn to mobile banking services and paid-for smart phone applications. As mobile and traditional payment devices converge with the advent of Near-Field- Communications, the handset will effectively become a payment device that is by its very nature highly visible and potentially vulnerable. Those aged under 34 are the most likely to think that mobile phones are an easy and valuable commodity to sell on. 45-54 year olds are most likely to believe that valuable content is behind the rise in mobile phone theft. It will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in mobile phone theft or a spike in fraudulent insurance claims with the release of the 4G handset, rumoured to hit the market in June 2010. Q: Why do you think mobile phone theft is on the rise?UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  6. 6. 6 A quarter of people have either had their phone lost or stolen or both 16 per cent of people reported that they had lost their mobile phone and a further six per cent had it stolen Those aged 18-24-year-olds were five times (11%) as likely to report they had had their mobile phone stolen verses those aged 64+. This correlates with the perception that it is ‘younger people targeting younger people’ that is partly responsible for driving the In the British increase in phone theft. Nearly a quarter of 25-34-year-olds had lost their phone verses only nine per cent of those Crime survey aged 55+.2008/08, in six Regionally, Belfast (13%) was the worst city to report mobile phones stolen followed by Sheffield (11%). Over a quarter (26%) of people in Glasgow reported their mobile phone out of ten lost and 23 per cent in Bristol. When asked why they were targeted, 57 per cent said they were targeted by an incidents opportunist, but a quarter (24%) said it was because they were careless and 15% blamed it on having an expensive handset. Men were more likely to admit being careless than (61%), a women and also blame their theft on having an expensive phone 18-24 were the most likely (30%) to admit being careless. In the British Crime survey 2007/08, in six out of ten incidents (61%), a mobile phone was was the only the only item stolen. The most common other item to be stolen was cash or foreign currency (referenced in 26 per cent of all incidents), followed by a purse or wallet (19 per item stolen cent of all incidents). This shows the value in not only mobile phone insurance but also card loss reporting services to quickly cancel and block lost payment cards. Q: Have you ever had your mobile phone stolen or lost it? UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  7. 7. 7 A quarter of victims of phone theft were pick-pocketed When asked how they had their mobile phone stolen most (24%) were pick-pocketed, 20% had it stolen from their table in a pub or restaurant and 17% stolen directly from their bag. Whilst men were nearly twice as likely to be mugged as women (13% vs. 7%), and more likely to have their mobile phone stolen from their car (11% vs. 3%), women were much more likely to have their bag stolen (25% vs. 9%) and be pick-pocketed (28% vs. 20%) as men. Those aged 18-34 year olds were the most likely to be mugged (24%) as opposed to those aged 45-54 who were most likely to report their phone stolen from a pub or restaurant. This is consistent with this older demographic having a high incidence of stolen bags (28%). Looking at our own internal claims data, Tuesday was the day when most (18%) mobile phones were reported ‘missing’, followed by Monday (15%) and Wednesday (14%). This may be consistent with many of the claimants losing their phones after a weekend and late nights. Sunday night was the time when least phones were reported lost and stolen. It may be a fair hypothesis to suggest that claims data is driven by lifestyle, albeit with a loss reporting delay. The length of time it takes for consumers to report their phones lost or stolen is covered later on in this report. 36 percent of loss reports were handled in the afternoon, followed by the evening (33%) and morning (30%). Although only three per cent of consumers questioned reported that their mobile phone had been stolen three times, 17 per cent said they had suffered theft on two occasions. One in five (21%) 25-34-year-olds reported their phone had been stolen on two separate occasions. When asked if they had lost their phones, 21 per cent said they had lost their mobile phones twice, with one in twenty saying they had lost it on three separate occasions. Nearly a quarter (24%) of women reported that they had lost their phone twice. Q: How was your phone stolen?UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  8. 8. 8 63 per cent of people have no mobile phone insurance Despite the latest generation of handsets, including the increased penetration of 3G handsets costing hundreds of pounds, and a quarter of people reporting a lost or stolen handset, 63 per cent have no mobile phone insurance of any kind and would be out of pocket should the worst happen. Of those consumers that do claim to hold some form of mobile phone insurance, only 16 per cent have a policy that they paid for separately; with 15 per cent holding potentially ‘light’ levels of cover and benefits through their home insurance, which may not include as comprehensive a range of different types of cover and benefits that policies paid for separately generally do. Surprisingly it is the youngest demographic (18-24-year-olds) with the highest penetration of insurance (27%) vs. only 13 per cent of 45-54-year-olds, ten per cent of over 65-year- olds and nine per cent of 55-65-year-olds. This factor may be driven by the highest penetration of smart phones across this younger demographic and the realisation that some form of cover is required for expensive handsets. Some commentators have also suggested that this age group is more likely to file a fraudulent claim in order to secure the latest must-have specification and insurance is a means to an end. Consistent with this, contract mobile phone owners are four times more likely to have insurance cover than PAYG handset owners (27% vs. 6%). As you may expect due to degradation of renewal, the penetration of mobile phone insurance drops since consumers last upgraded their handsets. For example, 23 per cent have insurance within 7-12 months of upgrading their handsets, but this decreases to eight per cent within 18-24 months and Surprisingly five per cent who upgraded their handset more than 24 months ago. Clearly, mobile phones are considered to have a short shelf-life due to constant product innovation and it is the there is a significant degradation of insurance renewal between 13 and 18 months. youngest The value of mobile phone insurance is, however, evident when you consider that 84 per cent of consumers do not get their handset back. Regionally Norwich could claim to bedemographic the nation’s most honest city, with 25 per cent saying their lost handset was returned to them verses only six per cent in Belfast. These statistics, in addition to proving there is (18-24 year substantial value in handsets insurance, also point to the need to data replacement and cancellation services as more and more personal and sensitive information is held on ourolds) with the mobile handsets. highest penetrationof insurance (27%) UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  9. 9. Q: Do you have mobile phone insurance?UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  10. 10. 10 On average it takes six hours to report a mobile phone lost or stolen Most people (17%) reported their mobile phone handsets lost or stolen between one and two hours, although 17% took anywhere between three and 12 hours to do so. A further 8 per cent took up to 24 hours to report their loss/theft, putting themselves at considerable risk from unauthorised call charges and potential identity or card fraud depending on the amount of sensitive data held on the handset. The value of 55-65 year olds claim to be quickest off the mark when cancelling their handsets with 30 the National per cent reporting them lost or stolen within 30 minutes. When asked how much was added to their mobile phone bill, 69 per cent said no callsMobile Phone were made, and 12 per cent couldn’t remember. From this survey, it seems that unauthorised calls charges are not a problem and it is the handset that is the driving factor Register is in the theft rather using the mobile phone to make unauthorised calls. This is consistent with the earlier findings that consumers believe phone theft is driven by a belief that very much in mobile handsets are an easy and valuable commodity to sell on. The value of the Nationalevidence here Mobile Phone Register is very much in evidence here to stop phone related crime and insurers should make use of this initiative to stop the resale of stolen stop phone Q: How long did it take you to report the loss or theft? related crime UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  11. 11. 11 Eight per cent of people know someone who has made a fraudulent insurance claim Whilst most consumers are honest and would not agree with any statements complicit with making a false claim, there is a small minority who would deliberately destroy their mobiles and concoct fraudulent insurance claims in order to upgrade to the latest model. Specifically, four per cent of people would be tempted to report their phone lost or stolen to get a new upgrade and 18 per cent would be prepared to either damage, lose or take less care of their handset in order to get a new handset. Eight per cent of people say they know someone who has made a fraudulent claim to get a new model. Between May and June 2009, CPP saw an 11 per cent increase in the number of phones reported missing or stolen, which coincided with the release of the new iPhone 3G. Whilst nothing can be proven, and some may argue that the summer always sees an increase in lost, stolen and damaged handsets due to people being more active, one insurance provider has reported that claims for Apple’s iconic phone typically jump by 50 per cent during the month in which a newer version is launched and four in ten of these claims is ‘suspicious’. Q: Which of the following statement do you agree with?Eight per cent of people say they knowsomeone who has made a fraudulent claim to get a new model UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  12. 12. 1 1.5 Conclusion According to the results of this survey, a quarter of people have either had their phone lost or stolen or both – these figures far exceed the results of the BCS 2007/08, but CPP’s findings include lost and stolen handsets as opposed to the BCS that only investigates theft. The BCS also only reports on reported crime and does not include, for example, aOf those who lost or stolen handset not reported to the police. Broken down in isolation, six per cent of respondents reported their phone stolen to CPP verses two per cent to the BCS.have suffered When asked what is driving phone theft, the perception that mobile phones are an easy from phone and valuable commodity that can be easily sold on and children target children as an easy target for phone theft. This is consistent with the findings of the latest British Crime Survey theft, most 2007/08, which reports the age group most at risk from mobile phone theft is the under 24’s, accounting for almost half of phone related thefts. The perception is therefore fell victim to consistent with this fact. Concurrent with the increasing penetration of smart phones, there is a perception that thepick-pockets inherent value of the data handsets now hold is a driver of phone related crime. This point is likely to grow as more and more consumers migrate to online banking and shopping via their mobile handsets away from traditional PC or laptop access. Of those who have suffered from phone theft, most fell victim to pick-pockets, and those aged 18-24 years old were most likely to be mugged. Older people were more likely to have their phone reported missing in a restaurant or pub. Despite 84 per cent not getting their handsets back, and it taking on average six hours to report their handset lost or stolen, 63 per cent do not have mobile phone insurance putting themselves at risk from financial loss. The research shows a clear degradation of insurance between 13 and 18 months, most likely as people move out of contract and are no longer responsible for replacing the mobile phone. In line with not having insurance, a quarter also admitted that they were targeted because they were careless. Clearly as handsets become more valuable and data rich, consumers will have to take more responsibility to protect this important ‘everyday’ asset. Finally, our survey looked at whether people know of someone who had made a fraudulent insurance claim. Eight per cent claimed to know someone who has done this to get a new model. Whilst this is a bad percentage figure in terms of the honesty of some claimants, it is actually lower than we would expect it to be. A figure of 10-12 per cent would be more inline with our expectations and experience of claims management. 1.6 Avoiding mobile phone-related crime Danny Harrison is Head of Mobile at CPP and offers the following advice to consumers to help protect themselves from phone theft. Danny has over ten years’ experience and is responsible for CPP’s mobile phone assistance and insurance products that insures lost, stolen and damaged handsets, and also assists people in the event of lost data and other gadgets. Danny is media trained across print and broadcast and is available for media interviews on the issue of phone theft. UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  13. 13. 13 Top tips CPP top tips to help keep your mobile safe: 1�Note down your IMEI number – printed on the inside of your handset’s battery case – if your phone goes missing your service provider can use this number to blacklist your phone. 2�Log an ICE number - Store the name and number of someone who should be contacted in case of emergency in your phone book, adding the letters ICE in front of their name. 3�If your phone has a security code, remember to activate it. This means only your SIM card will work on your handset. 4�Be aware of who’s close to you if you need to make a call in public. 5�Use your phone’s vibrate facility if it has one, so you can decide whether it’s safe before answering a call. 6�To help avoid abusive or bullying mobile calls or messages avoid giving out phone numbers to anyone other than close friends and family. 7�Try to keep your phone as close to you as you would your iPod or keys. It only takes a moment to be swiped by an opportunist. 8�Register your handset on the National Mobile Phone Register (www.immobilise. com). It increases the likelihood of lost and stolen phones being retuned to you. 9�Don’t leave your mobile phone unattended in a coat or bag in a restaurant or a pub – it’s likely to be stolen. 10� you have an expensive handset, or have a smart phone with lots of data held IfDon’t leave on it, consider taking out handset insurance and some form of remote mechanism to back up all of your contacts, messages, photos and video. If your phone is lostyour mobile or stolen, you can easily download them back onto your new phone. phone 1.7 For further information please contact:unattendedin a coat or Nick Jones PR and Communications Manager bag in a CPP Group Plc Holgate Park restaurant York YO26 4GA Tel 0104 544 387 or a pub E-Mail Web www.cppgroupplc.comUK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010
  14. 14. 14CPP is an award- 1.8 About CPPwinning organisation: The CPP Group Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business offering bespoke- Finalist in the National customer management solutions to multi-sector business partners designed to enhance Insurance Fraud Awards, Counter Fraud Initiative their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty, whilst at the same time reducing cost to of the Year category, 00 deliver improved profitability.- Finalist in the European This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary Life Assistance Contact Centre Awards, products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the anxieties associated with Large Team and Advisor of the challenges and opportunities of everyday life. the Year categories, 00 Whether our customers have lost their wallets, been a victim of identity fraud or looking- Named in the for lifestyle perks, CPP can help remove the hassle from their lives leaving them free to Sunday Times 008 enjoy life. Globally, our Life Assistance products and services are designed to simplify the PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100 complexities of everyday living whether these affect personal finances, home, travel, personal data or future plans. When it really matters, Life Assistance enables people to live- Finalists in the National life and worry less. Business Awards, 3i Growth Strategy category, 008 Established in 1980, CPP has 10 million customers and more than 200 business partners across Europe, North and South America and Asia Pacific and employs 1,900 employees- Finalist in the National Business Awards, Business who handle millions of sales and service conversations each year. of the Year category, 007, In 2009, Group revenue was £292.1 million, an increase of more than 12 per cent over the 00 and Highly previous year. Commended in 008- Named in the Sunday What We Do: Times 006, 007, 008 CPP provides a range of assistance products and services that allow our business partners and 00 HSBC Top Track to forge closer relationships with their customers. 50 companies- Regional winner of the We have a solution for many eventualities, including: National Training Awards, - Insuring our customers’ mobile phones against loss, theft and damage 007 - Protecting the payment cards in our customers’ wallets and purses,- Winner of the BITC Health, Work and Well-Being should these be lost or stolen Award, 007 - Providing assistance and protection if a customer’s keys are lost or stolen- Highly Commended in - Providing advice, insurance and assistance to protect customers against the the UK National Customer Service Awards, 006 insidious crime of identity fraud- Winner of the Tamworth - Assisting customers with their travel needs be it an emergency (for example Community Involvement lost passport), or basic translation service Award, 006. Finalist in 008 - Monitoring the credit status of our customers- Highly Commended in The Press Best Link - Provision of packaged services to business partners’ customers Between Business and Education, 005 and 006. Winner in 007- Finalist in the National Business Awards, For more information on CPP visit: Innovation category, 005 UK Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Phone Theft February 2010