Which States Have the Most Identity Theft?

Betty Q. Hixson

sestovic / iStock.com

Imagine coming home from a long day’s work, and as you’re going through the mail, you see a letter from a law firm. After opening it, you realize that you’re being sued for an outstanding debt by a credit card company you never use. At that moment, the phone rings — it’s a bill collector, seeking payment from you for a different outstanding debt that you never incurred. What is going on?

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Sadly, this scenario — along with other identity theft and fraud scams — affected more than 5.7 million people and cost them $5.8 billion in 2021, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network, which is an online Federal Trade Commission database. Identity theft accounted for 25% of all reports. To drill down into which states are the most prone to identity theft, GOBankingRates used information from the 2021 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book to find state-by-state trends about the frequency and type of identity theft scams.

Some of the data turned out to be eye-opening. For example, tiny Rhode Island was the top state in the nation for identity theft in terms of consumer reports per 100,000 residents. Overall, the most common types of identity theft include credit card fraud, employment or tax-related fraud, government documents and benefits fraud, and more. As evidenced in the study, however, certain types of fraud are more common in individual states.

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Identity theft is a painful but important problem to deal with because it can have far-reaching and devastating effects. A fraudster with your identity can impersonate you, open accounts in your name and even drain your bank accounts. While you shouldn’t have an irrational fear of identity theft, you should take proactive steps to help prevent it:

  • Change your passwords often.

  • Don’t share your personal information.

  • Shred important documents when you dispose of them.

  • Install appropriate antivirus and security software on all of your devices.

And if you live in one of the worst states for identity theft, you may want to practice extra diligence and look into getting identity theft protection services. Read on to find out where your state ranks.

lucky-photographer / Getty Images/iStockphoto

lucky-photographer / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Rhode Island

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 2,857

  • Number of reports: 30,270

  • Top identity theft types:

Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Sean Pavone / Getty Images

2. Kansas

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 1,355

  • Number of reports: 39,461

  • Top identity theft types:

Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock.com

Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock.com

3. Illinois

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 924

  • Number of reports: 117,056

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 65%

    • Other identity theft: 13%

    • Credit card fraud: 12%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 6%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 5%

Susanne Neumann / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Susanne Neumann / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Louisiana

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 732

  • Number of reports: 34,043

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 38%

    • Credit card fraud: 37%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 32%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 10%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 7%

Conchi Martinez / Shutterstock.com

Conchi Martinez / Shutterstock.com

5. Georgia

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 618

  • Number of reports: 65,666

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 43%

    • Credit card fraud: 40%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 23%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 8%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 5%

Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com

Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com

6. Nevada

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 584

  • Number of reports: 17,985

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Credit card fraud: 32%

    • Other identity theft: 30%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 25%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 12%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 6%

SWKrullImaging / Getty Images/iStockphoto

SWKrullImaging / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7. Colorado

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 583

  • Number of reports: 33,572

  • Top identity theft types:

Francois Roux / Shutterstock.com

Francois Roux / Shutterstock.com

8. New York

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 563

  • Number of reports: 109,466

  • Top identity theft types:

Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9. Delaware

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 560

  • Number of reports: 5,449

  • Top identity theft types:

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

10. Florida

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 515

  • Number of reports: 110,675

  • Top identity theft types:

Dorti / Shutterstock.com

Dorti / Shutterstock.com

11. Texas

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 504

  • Number of reports: 146,095

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 31%

    • Credit card fraud: 29%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 29%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 15%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 10%

Andrei Medvedev / Shutterstock.com

Andrei Medvedev / Shutterstock.com

12. Maryland

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 493

  • Number of reports: 29,778

  • Top identity theft types:

benedek / Getty Images

benedek / Getty Images

13. Ohio

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 431

  • Number of reports: 50,421

  • Top identity theft types:

benedek / Getty Images

benedek / Getty Images

14. Pennsylvania

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 425

  • Number of reports: 54,460

  • Top identity theft types:

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

15. Alabama

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 402

  • Number of reports: 19,691

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Credit card fraud: 36%

    • Other identity theft: 33%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 17%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 15%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 7%

tonda / Getty Images/iStockphoto

tonda / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16. Arizona

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 386

  • Number of reports: 28,108

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 41%

    • Other identity theft: 23%

    • Credit card fraud: 21%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 11%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 10%

Sergnt / Shutterstock.com

Sergnt / Shutterstock.com

17. New Jersey

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 359

  • Number of reports: 31,857

  • Top identity theft types:

traveler1116 / Getty Images

traveler1116 / Getty Images

18. South Carolina

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 343

  • Number of reports: 17,642

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 48%

    • Credit card fraud: 28%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 21%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 8%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 7%

contrails / Getty Images/iStockphoto

contrails / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19. California

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 337

  • Number of reports: 133,119

  • Top identity theft types:

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20. Mississippi

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 333

  • Number of reports: 9,906

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 45%

    • Credit card fraud: 29%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 22%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 9%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 7%

Vito Palmisano / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Vito Palmisano / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21. Tennessee

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 297

  • Number of reports: 20,254

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 40%

    • Credit card fraud: 32%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 16%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 9%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 9%

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

22. North Carolina

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 289

  • Number of reports: 30,318

  • Top identity theft types:

RomanBabakin / Getty Images

RomanBabakin / Getty Images

23. Massachusetts

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 240

  • Number of reports: 16,566

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 32%

    • Credit card fraud: 24%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 24%

    • Bank fraud: 10%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 9%

alexeys / Getty Images/iStockphoto

alexeys / Getty Images/iStockphoto

24. Kentucky

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 233

  • Number of reports: 10,416

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 53%

    • Other identity theft: 16%

    • Credit card fraud: 12%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 10%

    • Bank fraud: 9%

garytog / Getty Images/iStockphoto

garytog / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. Virginia

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 225

  • Number of reports: 19,214

  • Top identity theft types:

Michael E Halstead / Shutterstock.com

Michael E Halstead / Shutterstock.com

26. New Mexico

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 220

  • Number of reports: 4,611

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 37%

    • Other identity theft: 20%

    • Credit card fraud: 19%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 13%

STLJB / Shutterstock.com

STLJB / Shutterstock.com

27. Missouri

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 218

  • Number of reports: 13,372

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 35%

    • Credit card fraud: 21%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 20%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 15%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

28. Arkansas

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 211

  • Number of reports: 6,358

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 39%

    • Credit card fraud: 25%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 16%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 11%

Phillip Espinasse / iStock.com

Phillip Espinasse / iStock.com

29. Hawaii

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 211

  • Number of reports: 2,993

  • Top identity theft types:

Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

30. Michigan

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 206

  • Number of reports: 20,556

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Credit card fraud: 29%

    • Other identity theft: 27%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 15%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 15%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 12%

JamesBrey / Getty Images

JamesBrey / Getty Images

31. Wisconsin

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 193

  • Number of reports: 11,253

  • Top identity theft types:

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

32. Oregon

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 190

  • Number of reports: 8,016

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 35%

    • Credit card fraud: 22%

    • Other identity theft: 17%

    • Bank fraud: 13%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 11%

amygdala_imagery / Getty Images

amygdala_imagery / Getty Images

33. Utah

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 189

  • Number of reports: 6,060

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 32%

    • Credit card fraud: 29%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 18%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 18%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 11%

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

34. Connecticut

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 187

  • Number of reports: 6,666

  • Top identity theft types:

Patawee / Shutterstock.com

Patawee / Shutterstock.com

35. Indiana

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 176

  • Number of reports: 11,866

  • Top identity theft types:

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

36. Oklahoma

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 173

  • Number of reports: 6,850

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 27%

    • Credit card fraud: 21%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 19%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 18%

    • Bank fraud: 13%

Art Wager / Getty Images

Art Wager / Getty Images

37. Washington

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 170

  • Number of reports: 12,917

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Credit card fraud: 28%

    • Other identity theft: 24%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 18%

    • Bank fraud: 17%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

lavin photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

lavin photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

38. Minnesota

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 168

  • Number of reports: 9,457

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 39%

    • Credit card fraud: 24%

    • Other identity theft: 19%

    • Bank fraud: 10%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 10%

davidmarxphoto / Shutterstock.com

davidmarxphoto / Shutterstock.com

39. Maine

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 167

  • Number of reports: 2,239

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 51%

    • Other identity theft: 16%

    • Credit card fraud: 14%

    • Bank fraud: 10%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 9%

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

40. New Hampshire

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 162

  • Number of reports: 2,205

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 34%

    • Credit card fraud: 23%

    • Other identity theft: 16%

    • Bank fraud: 15%

    • Phone or utilities fraud: 10%

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

41. West Virginia

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 159

  • Number of reports: 2,845

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 38%

    • Other identity theft: 20%

    • Credit card fraud: 16%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

    • Bank fraud: 11%

Ric Schafer / Shutterstock.com

Ric Schafer / Shutterstock.com

42. Idaho

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 152

  • Number of reports: 2,719

  • Top identity theft types:

vermontalm / Shutterstock.com

vermontalm / Shutterstock.com

43. Vermont

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 132

  • Number of reports: 825

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 46%

    • Credit card fraud: 17%

    • Bank fraud: 14%

    • Other identity theft: 13%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 9%

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

44. North Dakota

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 131

  • Number of reports: 999

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 28%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 26%

    • Credit card fraud: 18%

    • Loan or lease fraud: 13%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

45. Nebraska

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 125

  • Number of reports: 2,409

  • Top identity theft types:

JMcQ / Shutterstock.com

JMcQ / Shutterstock.com

46. Alaska

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 122

  • Number of reports: 896

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 27%

    • Credit card fraud: 24%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 20%

    • Bank fraud: 17%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

47. Iowa

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 119

  • Number of reports: 3,758

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 29%

    • Credit card fraud: 22%

    • Other identity theft: 20%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 13%

    • Bank fraud: 12%

littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com

littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com

48. Wyoming

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 107

  • Number of reports: 620

  • Top identity theft types:

Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

49. Montana

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 106

  • Number of reports: 1,130

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Other identity theft: 25%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 22%

    • Credit card fraud: 22%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

    • Bank fraud: 12%

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

50. South Dakota

  • Reports per 100,000 residents: 76

  • Number of reports: 673

  • Top identity theft types:

    • Credit card fraud: 24%

    • Other identity theft: 22%

    • Bank fraud: 19%

    • Employment or tax-related fraud: 17%

    • Government documents or benefits fraud: 16%

Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting for this article.

All information was sourced from the Federal Trade Commission’s 2021 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book and verified on June 3, 2022.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Which States Have the Most Identity Theft?

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/states-most-identity-theft-120002105.html

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