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Author:Vogan, Michael 

Working Paper
How Data Breaches Affect Consumer Credit

We use the 2012 South Carolina Department of Revenue data breach as a natural experiment to study how data breaches and news coverage about them affect consumers? interactions with the credit market and their use of credit. We find that some consumers directly exposed to the breach protected themselves against potential losses from future fraudulent use of stolen information by monitoring their files and freezing access to their credit reports. However, these consumers continued their regular use of existing credit cards and did not switch lenders. The response of consumers exposed to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-6

Working Paper
Out of sight, out of mind: consumer reaction to news on data breaches and identity theft

We use the 2012 South Carolina Department of Revenue data breach to study how data breaches and news coverage about them affect consumers? take-up of fraud protections. In this instance, we find that a remarkably large share of consumers who were directly affected by the breach acquired fraud protection services immediately after the breach. In contrast, the response of consumers who were not directly exposed to the breach, but who were exposed to news about it, was negligible. Even among consumers directly exposed to the data breach, the incremental effect of additional news about the breach ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-42

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft: Evidence from Consumer Credit Bureau Records

This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of consumer credit records and alerts indicating identity theft and the exogenous timing of victimization, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved Risk Scores. Consumers also exhibit caution with credit by having fewer ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-2

Working Paper
Identity theft as a teachable moment

This paper examines how instances of identity theft that are sufficiently severe to induce consumers to place an extended fraud alert in their credit reports affect their risk scores, delinquencies, and other credit bureau variables on impact and thereafter. We show that for many consumers these effects are relatively small and transitory. However, for a significant number of consumers, especially those with lower risk scores prior to the event, there are more persistent and generally positive effects on credit bureau variables, including risk scores. We argue that these positive changes for ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-28

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft

We examine how a negative shock from identity theft affects consumer credit market behavior. We show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent increases in credit scores and declines in reported delinquencies, with a significant proportion of affected consumers transitioning from subprime-to-prime credit scores. Those consumers take advantage of their improved creditworthiness to obtain additional credit, including auto loans and mortgages. Despite having ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-33

Working Paper
IDENTITY THEFT AS A TEACHABLE MOMENT

SUPERCEDES 14-28. This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of linked consumer credit data and alerts indicating identity theft, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on consumers are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved risk scores (indicating lower default risk). We argue that these changes are consistent with ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-27

Discussion Paper
Consumer use of fraud alerts and credit freezes: an empirical analysis

Fraud alerts ? initial fraud alerts, extended fraud alerts, and credit freezes ? help protect consumers from the consequences of identity theft. At the same time, they may impose costs on lenders, credit bureaus, and, in some instances, consumers. We analyze a unique data set of anonymized credit bureau files to understand how consumers use these alerts. We document the frequency and persistence of fraud alerts and credit freezes. Using the experience of the data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue, we show that consumers who file initial fraud alerts or credit freezes likely ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-4

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Severe Identity Theft in the U.S.

We examine how a negative shock from severe identity theft affects consumer credit market behavior in the United States. We show that the immediate effects of severe identity theft on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent increases in credit scores and declines in reported delinquencies, with a significant proportion of affected consumers transitioning from subprime-to-prime credit scores. Those consumers take advantage of their improved creditworthiness to obtain additional credit, ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-41

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