Consumer-focused identity theft, cyber attacks and online fraud are continuing to rise or remain at robust levels, a new national survey by Munich Re’s HSB has found.

Nearly 16 percent of individuals said they’ve experienced online consumer fraud, nearly double from previous HSB surveys. The number of consumers who claimed identity theft increased to 23 percent, up five percent over similar HSB surveys in 2018 and 2016, the data showed.

HSB also found that 34 percent of consumers – nearly one-third of respondents – reported they had experienced a cyber attack.

Not surprisingly, HSB said that the survey found al large number of consumers – 77 percent – said they were either very or somewhat concerned about online identity theft. Close to the same amount were worried they could be hacked or have their personal data stolen while shopping on a public Wi-Fi connection.

Here are survey highlights:

  • Once consumers faced identity theft, they spent an average 27 hours to monitor their credit and correct personal information.
  • 72 percent of respondents said that a computer virus or other malware was the most typical cyber attack damage. Nearly 60 percent of consumers spent more than $500 responding to the attack.
  • 23 percent said they dealt with a hacker interfering with their email or taking over the social media accounts, or use of either by an unauthorized person.
  • 11 percent said they dealt with ransomware attacks, a steady result compared to previous ones. Of that number, about half said they paid the ransom – typically $2,000 or less. HSB said the number was at one-third in previous surveys it conducted.
  • Regarding the types of online consumer fraud, 48 percent of respondents said the crimes came through payment services. About 21 percent said the action took place during online auctions, and 20 percent said dating websites led to online consumer fraud.
  • More than half of online consumer fraud victims lost over $500 and a third lost over $1,000.

Zogby Analytics conducted the HSB survey in December 2019, reporting the results a month later. The margin for error is plus or minus 2.5 percent, based on a confidence level of 95 percent.

Hartford Steam Boiler/HSB, a provider of cyber insurance, is part of Munich Re.

Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB)

HSB, part of Munich Re, is a multi-line specialty insurer and provider of inspection, risk management and IoT technology services.

Source: Munich Re/HSB/Zogby Analytics