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The states most at risk to identity theft and credit card fraud ranked

423 cases per 100,000 resident for state with highest identity theft

As the world continues to cope with COVID-19, America is seeing cases of identity theft soar to record highs. Of the 3.2 million reports to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book in 2019, 20% — or 650,572 — related to identity theft. And already in the first quarter of 2020, reports of fraud and identity theft are up 20.1% from the previous quarter.

The numbers could rise as more people continue to work from home and new reports of coronavirus-related fraud and scams come in.

Among these all-time-high cases, credit card fraud leads the charge.

Identity theft vs. account takeover

Identity theft involves the unauthorized access of personal information, such as your name and Social Security number. Account takeover is when a fraudster accesses account information — such as credit card numbers — with the intent of committing fraud on existing accounts.

In 2019, victims reported $160.3 million worth of losses resulting from identity theft, according to the FBI. Credit card fraud made up the overwhelming majority of that $160.3 million.

This number represents only what was reported through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, however, and doesn’t account for reports made directly to field agents.

Most common types of identity theft

Swiping the competition in 2019 was credit card fraud, which accounted for 41.78% of all identity theft reports to the FTC, followed by other identity theft, which includes fraud conducted via email and social media. Least common was government documents or benefit fraud at 3.54%.

RankTheft typeNumber of reportsPercentage of reports
1Credit card fraud271,82341.76%
2Other identity theft215,68233.15%
3Loan or lease fraud104,69916.09%
4Phone or utilies fraud83,53512.84%
5Bank fraud58,7239.03%
6Employment or tax-related fraud45,5647.00%
7Government documents or benefits fraud23,0523.54%

Identity theft and credit card fraud by state

The dubious honor of state with the most identity theft reports goes to Georgia, with the Peach State logging 423 cases per 100,000 people in 2019 — 176 of those falling under the credit card fraud umbrella.

Florida came in just south of Georgia with 154 cases of credit card fraud per 100,000 people, followed by California and Texas.

The state with the fewest number of reports was South Dakota, with 47 reports of fraud per 100,000 people, followed by Vermont and Wyoming.

Several states in the middle of the country also came in at the middle of the pack — like Missouri and Colorado, with 41 and 45 reports of credit card fraud per capita, respectively.

RankStateTotal identity theftCredit card fraudLoan or lease fraudPhone or utilities fraudBank fraudEmployment or tax-related fraudGovernment documents or benefits fraudOther identity theft
8District of Columbia219.682.735.733.920.42010.974.1
9South Carolina210.871.849.429.8158.15.392
11New Jersey205.1109.926.426.316.711.17.249.5
12New York186.896.622.826.316.711.17.249.5
14North Carolina177.264.732.622.312.48.75.673
27Ohio11848.216<20 />
29Rhode Island108.243.39.318.513.59.25.929.9
30New Mexico99.633.912.913.216.614.96.724.4
31New Hampshire95.843.75.425.411.943.918.1
47West Virginia59.221.54.411.
48North Dakota58.825.
51South Dakota46.518.24.19.464.22.59.3

Credit card fraud by metro area

Georgia maintains its top spot in individual metropolitan areas, accounting for three of the five areas with the most reports of identity theft per capita — Warner Robins, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell and Macon-Bibb County. A person convicted of financial transaction card fraud of more than $100.00 within a six-month period in Georgia can be charged with a felony. The ramifications can be a fine of up to $5,000.00 or a prison term of one and five years. On the flip side, Muncie, Indiana, logged the least number of reports at 37 per 100,000 people, followed by Glens Falls, New York, and Tullahoma-Manchester, Tennessee.

RankMetropolitan areaReports per 100,000 residentsNumber of reports
1Warner Robins, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area6611,281
2Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area57033,940
3Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area55634,458
4Macon-Bibb County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area4551,045
5Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area4466,027
6Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area4331,322
7Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area4113,420
8Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area41054,553
9Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area36725,656
10Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area36727,637
RankMetropolitan areaReports per 100,000 residentsNumber of reports
1Muncie, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area3237
2Tullahoma-Manchester, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area3435
3Glens Falls, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area3443
4Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area3841
5Appleton, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area4197
6Owensboro, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area4149
7Wenatchee, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area4250
8Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area4154
9Ogdensburg-Massena, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area4346
10Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area4372


Finder sourced all data from the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2019, released by the Federal Trade Commission in January 2020. The Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book uses reports in its Sentinel secure online database available to law enforcement only. These consumer reports are about fraud, identity theft and other consumer protection topics, with more than 3.2 million consumer reports filed in 2019.

The reports in Sentinel are sourced directly from:

  • People who call the FTC’s call center or report online
  • Reports filed with other federal, state, local and international law enforcement
  • Organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Publishers Clearing House
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For all media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Laycock, Insights editor and senior content marketing manager


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