With an estimated 40 million Target accounts being compromised, it becomes apparent that we should all be concerned with the growing threat of Cybercrime. In the past the cybercrime victims were limited to large banking institutions, or the Wall-Street moguls. Now it has reached down to people like my wife and myself who shop at Target.
Since the demographics have changed for potential victims of this crime, I believe that your homeowner’s insurance company should take into consideration increasing the limits that most homeowner policies carry regarding internet crime and identity theft at the present time.
A homeowner policy will provide coverage for loss of cash, or the unlawful use of your stolen credit card subject to a predetermined limit. For cash it can be as low as $200, and for a stolen credit card as low as $50. But the problem that many people will face with Target (and other credit cards) is not only the unlawful use of the credit card number, but their social security number as well which could result in a full blown identity theft situation, for someone who just enjoys shopping at Target.
If you have a homeowner or renters policy, check with your company to determine if you can purchase coverage for potential identity theft. The identity theft coverage will cover up to certain limits the additional cost incurred by you in order to deal with the identity theft cost. Those costs can include lost wages, cost for mailing documents and attorney fees.
There are now over 40 million reasons for requesting the insurance industry to increase their identity theft coverage as a result of the Target information theft, but also the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which started in 2000, has published its Crime report involving internet issues for 2012. Amazingly, they received in 2012, over 289,000 complaints. This translates into a dollar loss of $525,441,110; this was an 8.3 percent increase over 2011. In 2012, the Internet Crime Complaint Center listed the average loss for those reporting as being $4,573. As you might expect, California tops the list with 13.41% of the claims filed.
As an example of the latest criminal action involving your computer and email address is the following as reported by the FBI. “The Internet Crime Complaint Center continues to receive reports of spam e-mails that use FBI officials’ names and titles in online fraud schemes. Although there are different types and variations of these schemes, the recipients are typically notified that they are a beneficiary of a large sum of money. The latest round of spam e-mails use the name of James Comey, newly confirmed FBI Director.” Oddly enough millions of dollars have been lost on these scams.