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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

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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%.

Rank Theft type Number of reports Percentage of reports
1 Credit card fraud 271,823 41.76%
2 Other identity theft 215,682 33.15%
3 Loan or lease fraud 104,699 16.09%
4 Phone or utilies fraud 83,535 12.84%
5 Bank fraud 58,723 9.03%
6 Employment or tax-related fraud 45,564 7.00%
7 Government documents or benefits fraud 23,052 3.54%

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.

Rank State Total identity theft Credit card fraud Loan or lease fraud Phone or utilities fraud Bank fraud Employment or tax-related fraud Government documents or benefits fraud Other identity theft
1 Georgia 422.8 175.8 94.6 48.5 21.3 12.2 6.5 181.8
2 Florida 301.9 153.9 46.1 36.5 24.9 14.9 9.7 91.6
3 California 257.2 130.3 31.7 22.1 21.7 17.1 8.6 75.5
4 Texas 253.7 93.3 65.9 35.1 18.6 18 7.2 89.4
5 Nevada 251.8 94.4 34.4 24.6 22.3 16.8 8.4 104.7
6 Louisiana 227.6 68.4 73.8 33.4 13.3 11.2 6.3 96.4
7 Delaware 224.7 86.3 34.9 46.1 32.5 8.8 5.9 59.9
8 District of Columbia 219.6 82.7 35.7 33.9 20.4 20 10.9 74.1
9 South Carolina 210.8 71.8 49.4 29.8 15 8.1 5.3 92
10 Maryland 209.7 84.7 34.1 33.1 21 11.4 6.1 77.3
11 New Jersey 205.1 109.9 26.4 26.3 16.7 11.1 7.2 49.5
12 New York 186.8 96.6 22.8 26.3 16.7 11.1 7.2 49.5
13 Illinois 182.6 73.9 29.5 29.5 17.9 12.3 7.1 57.8
14 North Carolina 177.2 64.7 32.6 22.3 12.4 8.7 5.6 73
15 Alabama 172.4 65.7 42.4 21.7 14.4 10.6 5.3 65.9
16 Pennsylvania 163.2 63.7 22.5 26.5 15.7 10.2 6.7 52.6
17 Mississippi 158.4 51.6 42.7 17.9 12.3 10.7 5.8 66.9
18 Tennessee 156.2 50.2 27.6 18.5 15.1 9.1 5.5 68.6
19 Arkansas 149.9 40.2 23.5 17.7 13.5 12.6 5.3 70.5
20 Arizona 147.6 56.4 18.6 20.5 15.7 20.4 6.3 42.9
21 Utah 146.7 59.7 36.4 16.8 12.8 10 3.7 61.7
22 Michigan 135.5 46.9 16.2 31 13.1 9.8 5.5 40.6
23 Connecticut 128 58.8 13.6 23.3 16.2 12.4 5 26.3
24 Massachusetts 124.9 49 8.5 15.2 14.9 9 4.3 44
25 Missouri 120.7 41 22.2 19.8 16.5 9.4 5.4 40.8
26 Virginia 120.5 45.8 20.3 15.5 14.6 7 3.8 40.3
27 Ohio 118 48.2 16 <20 /> 12.6 8.5 4.5 35.8
28 Colorado 108.9 44.6 11 15.5 16.8 13.4 5.4 25.5
29 Rhode Island 108.2 43.3 9.3 18.5 13.5 9.2 5.9 29.9
30 New Mexico 99.6 33.9 12.9 13.2 16.6 14.9 6.7 24.4
31 New Hampshire 95.8 43.7 5.4 25.4 11.9 4 3.9 18.1
32 Hawaii 95.1 44.2 12 8.5 12.9 3.9 3.9 28.8
33 Oregon 95 36.3 7.9 19.5 15.6 8.3 6 21.7
34 Indiana 94.9 33.2 12.3 14.2 10.8 7.8 5.8 31.2
35 Oklahoma 93.7 32.6 11.7 12 14 9.6 10.3 26.2
36 Washington 93.4 38.5 9.7 12.2 18.2 9.4 5.7 23.2
37 Wisconsin 86.3 33.2 12.6 11.4 11.4 7.4 3.7 25.7
38 Minnesota 79.8 39.9 7.2 10 12.3 5.9 3.3 16.7
39 Idaho 79.5 25.1 7.7 8.2 24.3 4.6 3 18.4
40 Kansas 78 31.6 9.3 11.5 13.3 7.7 3.9 19.3
41 Alaska 73.7 25.4 7.2 13 9.6 6.3 4.1 23.2
42 Nebraska 68.2 23.6 5.9 10 12 11.1 4.7 16.9
43 Nebraska 68.2 23.6 5.9 10 12 11.1 4.7 16.9
44 Montana 66.2 23.3 3.6 17 8.5 5.9 5.6 15.2
45 Iowa 60.5 21.8 5.6 9.4 10.6 6.6 3.5 16.5
46 Maine 60 17.2 3.4 8.5 7.6 14.5 6.5 9.7
47 West Virginia 59.2 21.5 4.4 11.6 9.9 4.4 4.6 15.1
48 North Dakota 58.8 25.1 9.3 9.1 8.7 4.3 2.5 13.8
49 Wyoming 55.1 18.5 6 6.9 10.2 6.9 4.3 14.7
50 Vermont 54.2 23.6 2.7 8.3 6.6 7.2 2.9 10.9
51 South Dakota 46.5 18.2 4.1 9.4 6 4.2 2.5 9.3

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.

Rank Metropolitan area Reports per 100,000 residents Number of reports
1 Warner Robins, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 661 1,281
2 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 570 33,940
3 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 556 34,458
4 Macon-Bibb County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 455 1,045
5 Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area 446 6,027
6 Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 433 1,322
7 Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area 411 3,420
8 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 410 54,553
9 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 367 25,656
10 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 367 27,637
Rank Metropolitan area Reports per 100,000 residents Number of reports
1 Muncie, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area 32 37
2 Tullahoma-Manchester, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area 34 35
3 Glens Falls, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area 34 43
4 Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area 38 41
5 Appleton, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 41 97
6 Owensboro, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area 41 49
7 Wenatchee, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 42 50
8 Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 41 54
9 Ogdensburg-Massena, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area 43 46
10 Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 43 72

Methodology

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

For media inquiries:

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