Nearly One in Four Americans Victimized by Fraud or Identity Theft on Gig Economy Platforms

TransUnion publishes comprehensive report on consumer experiences in the gig economy

CHICAGO, Oct. 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly one in four (24%) Americans have been victimized by fraud or identity theft while using gig economy platforms, like delivery and ride-sharing apps. That is more than double the rate they experienced elsewhere, with only 10% reporting victimization outside gig platforms.

These findings and more are part of a comprehensive study from TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) on the attitudes, behaviors and experiences of Americans participating in the gig economy as workers, consumers or both. The full findings are available in the 2023 U.S. Gig Economy Report.

“The gig economy provides extraordinary convenience and flexibility for consumers and workers, and it all hinges on trust,” said Tracey Lazos, senior director of TransUnion’s gig economy business. “It is imperative for platforms to provide robust protections that can validate identity without adding unnecessary friction.”

When asked which security steps they expect platforms to leverage, consumers and workers showed similar preferences for measures such as one-time passcodes and biometric identity verifications, like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.

Top Consumer Preferences for Identity Protection and Verification on Gig Platforms

One-Time Passcode to Verify I’m the Person Using My Device to ShopAsk Me to Create an Account
Before Using the App
Use Biometrics Such as
FaceID or My Fingerprint

Top Worker Preferences for Identity Protection and Verification on Gig Platforms

One-Time Passcode to
Verify I’m the Person Using
My Device When Onboarding
One-Time Passcode
to Verify I’m the
Person Using My
Device When
Conduct a
Background Check
When Onboarding
Use Biometrics Such as
FaceID or My Fingerprint
When Working

The need for robust security measures was underscored by responses to questions about why people stop doing gig work. While the most common reasons were financially related; for example, not making enough money or finding full-time employment, more than a quarter of workers (26%) cited safety concerns. That number was elevated among Baby Boomers, at 35%.

“Gig platforms have an opportunity to communicate their commitment to protecting workers, especially to older generations,” said Lazos. “While Baby Boomers only comprise 7% of the current gig workforce, our survey found that workers of that generation plan to double their participation in the near future.”

A surprising mix in the gig workforce
Of Americans who indicated that they are currently engaged in the gig economy, 37% use gig platforms solely as a source of income, while 39% act only as consumers of gig services, and the remaining 23% participate as both workers and consumers.

While low-income earners (less than $50,000 per year) had the highest representation among workers, more than half (58%) of high-income earners (more than $100,000 per year) who participated in the gig economy did so as workers. What’s more, nearly one-third (29%) of that group cited gig work as their primary source of income.

Participants’ Reasons for Choosing Gig Work by Income Levels

 Low IncomeMedium IncomeHigh Income
Gig Work is My Primary Source of Income45%25%29%
Gig Work Helps Supplement My Income44%30%25%
Gig Work Helps Me Save for Big Purchases46%29%24%

“Our findings highlighted the diversity of the gig economy communities,” concluded Lazos. “While participants may have different reasons for choosing gig work and services, everyone comes with the same expectation of having a positive experience.”

Gig platforms interested in providing a seamless and secure experience for both workers and consumers should consider the TransUnion TruValidate™ solution suite for identity insights, fraud analytics and omnichannel authentication.

For more information about the survey findings and their gig platforms, download the 2023 U.S. Gig Economy Report.

Research Methodology
This online survey of 971 adults was conducted in July 2023, by TransUnion in partnership with third-party research provider, Toluna. Survey participants included adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States- who participate in the gig economy as a source of income or as a consumer of gig services. Participants included current, past, and future gig economy workers and consumers. The survey was conducted using an online research panel method across a combination of desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. Survey questions were administered in English. All U.S. regions are represented in the study survey responses. To ensure general population sample representativeness across United States resident demographics, the survey targeted respondents in line with the census statistics on the dimensions of age, gender, household income, and region. Generations are defined as follows: Gen Z, born 1997- 2005; Millennials, born 1981-1996; Gen X, born 1965-1980; Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964; and Silent, born 1928-1945. These research results are unweighted and statistically significant at a 95% confidence level within ±3 percentage points based on calculated error margin. Please note some chart percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding or multiple answers being accepted.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

TransUnion is a global information and insights company with over 12,000 associates operating in more than 30 countries. We make trust possible by ensuring each person is reliably represented in the marketplace. We do this with a Tru™ picture of each person: an actionable view of consumers, stewarded with care. Through our acquisitions and technology investments we have developed innovative solutions that extend beyond our strong foundation in core credit into areas such as marketing, fraud, risk and advanced analytics. As a result, consumers and businesses can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good® — and it leads to economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for millions of people around the world.

Contact Dave Blumberg
Telephone 312-972-6646