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The Worst States for Identity Theft

Identity theft is a big problem. How big? According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers lost $16.8 billion to identity fraud in 2017. The ID theft business is positively booming, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

But what about you? How worried should you personally feel about identity theft? We wanted to find out, so we analyzed data on identity theft in each state to determine risk levels for consumers in each state. Keep reading to see the most dangerous states for identity theft victims and the states where victims stand to lose the most money to identity theft.

Top 10 costliest states for ID theft

RankStateDollars lost per victimDollars lost per capitaVictims per 100,000Population
1Nevada$5,964.88$0.8614.442,998,039
2 Colorado$4,480.42$0.316.875,607,154
3Maryland$4,489.01$0.286.136,052,177
4California$3,915.98$0.266.6039,536,653
5New York$5,713.48$0.264.5319,849,399
6Alaska$2,605.70$0.269.87739,795
7 (Tie)Florida$2,704.91$0.238.5320,984,400
7 (Tie)New Jersey$7,907.81$0.324.009,005,644
9Virginia$3,348.39$0.205.938,470,020
10 (Tie)Illinois$4,899.28$0.224.5812,802,023
10 (Tie)West Virginia$10,719.08$0.353.301,815,857
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 (Tie)
7 (Tie)
9
10 (Tie)
10 (Tie)
State Dollars lost per victim Dollars lost per capita Victims per 100,000 Population
Nevada $5,964.88 $0.86 14.44 2,998,039
Colorado $4,480.42 $0.31 6.87 5,607,154
Maryland $4,489.01 $0.28 6.13 6,052,177
California $3,915.98 $0.26 6.60 39,536,653
New York $5,713.48 $0.26 4.53 19,849,399
Alaska $2,605.70 $0.26 9.87 739,795
Florida $2,704.91 $0.23 8.53 20,984,400
New Jersey $7,907.81 $0.32 4.00 9,005,644
Virginia $3,348.39 $0.20 5.93 8,470,020
Illinois $4,899.28 $0.22 4.58 12,802,023
West Virginia $10,719.08 $0.35 3.30 1,815,857

What we found

Our study helped us determine the worst states for identity theft, but it also provided some insight into ID fraud trends. Here are some of the highlights from our data analysis:

  • Even if you’re unlikely to become a victim of identity theft, you could lose a lot if you do. Ohio didn’t make our list of the top 10 worst states—it ranked 45th in terms of victims per 100,000 people—but it had the highest loss per victim ($13,862.60) and the second-highest loss per capita ($0.43).
  • On the other hand, Washington, DC, appeared in the top list for 10 victims per 100,000 people, but losses were not as severe. DC fell near the bottom of the list for both losses per victim and losses per capita.
  • You have the greatest chance of becoming a victim if you live in Hawaii, which topped our rankings of victims per 100,000 people. You have the lowest chance if you live in South Dakota, which also ranked at the bottom for loss per victim and loss per capita.
  • Many of the highest-population states reported the highest overall dollars lost. Nevada is an exception, with the highest losses per capita by a large margin.

Check out the full list below to get the details on your state’s identity theft risks.

State-by-state risk for identity theft

State nameTotal losses ($)# of ID theft victimsOverall rank
Alabama$240,137.0028741
Alaska$190,216.00736
Arizona$1,162,880.0040516
Arkansas$270,105.009637
California$10,216,795.002,6094
Colorado$1,724,962.003852
Connecticut$236,716.0017333
Delaware$77,440.003940
District of Columbia$34,217.005438
Florida$4,839,090.001,7897
Georgia$941,823.0049630
Hawaii$474,116.0034112
Idaho$144,070.007335
Illinois49$2,870,981.004658610
Indiana$157,260.0023449
Iowa$204,834.008846
Kansas$243,736.0012135
Kentucky$230,373.0019543
Lousiana$328,304.0015044
Maine$55,509.004149
Maryland$1,665,421.003713
Massachusetts$1,313,026.0027720
Michigan$1,497,161.0051119
Minnesota$910,195.0018226
Mississippi$194,694.006542
Missouri$643,770.0024829
Montana$95,684.003733
Nebraska$465,591.006020
Nevada$2,582,794.004331
New Hampshire$166,961.005127
New Jersey$2,846,812.003607
New Mexico$365,393.006124
New York$5,142,136.009005
North Carolina$1,039,510.0042430
North Dakota$263,215.002015
Ohio$5,032,122.0036313
Oklahoma$895,959.0015216
Oregon$400,879.0019928
Pennsylvania$1,759,640.0056023
Rhode Island$36,136.003548
South Carolina$837,020.0020322
South Dakota$12,256.001851
Tennessee$1,241,184.0033214
Texas$3,503,199.001,20725
Utah$284,440.0013330
Vermont$30,968.002645
Virginia$1,680,890.005029
Washington$1,276,294.0049518
West Virginia$643,145.006010
Wisconsin$340,452.0020047
Wyoming$37,535.002839
State name
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Lousiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total losses ($) # of ID theft victims Overall rank
$240,137.00 287 41
$190,216.00 73 6
$1,162,880.00 405 16
$270,105.00 96 37
$10,216,795.00 2,609 4
$1,724,962.00 385 2
$236,716.00 173 33
$77,440.00 39 40
$34,217.00 54 38
$4,839,090.00 1,789 7
$941,823.00 496 30
$474,116.00 341 12
$144,070.00 73 35
49$2,870,981.00 46586 10
$157,260.00 234 49
$204,834.00 88 46
$243,736.00 121 35
$230,373.00 195 43
$328,304.00 150 44
$55,509.00 41 49
$1,665,421.00 371 3
$1,313,026.00 277 20
$1,497,161.00 511 19
$910,195.00 182 26
$194,694.00 65 42
$643,770.00 248 29
$95,684.00 37 33
$465,591.00 60 20
$2,582,794.00 433 1
$166,961.00 51 27
$2,846,812.00 360 7
$365,393.00 61 24
$5,142,136.00 900 5
$1,039,510.00 424 30
$263,215.00 20 15
$5,032,122.00 363 13
$895,959.00 152 16
$400,879.00 199 28
$1,759,640.00 560 23
$36,136.00 35 48
$837,020.00 203 22
$12,256.00 18 51
$1,241,184.00 332 14
$3,503,199.00 1,207 25
$284,440.00 133 30
$30,968.00 26 45
$1,680,890.00 502 9
$1,276,294.00 495 18
$643,145.00 60 10
$340,452.00 200 47
$37,535.00 28 39

Methodology

ASecureLife.com analyzed the losses from identity theft as reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2017. We looked at the average loss per victim, the average loss per capita using population data from the US Census Bureau, and the number of victims per 100,000 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. From there, we assigned a rank 1–51 for each factor—1 being the “worst” outcome and 51 the “best” outcome—and averaged those ranks to determine the best and worst states for ID theft victims.

For this study, we used IC3’s definition of identity theft: “Identity theft involves a perpetrator stealing another person’s personal identifying information, such as name or Social Security number, without permission to commit fraud.”

Take action today

Whatever your state’s rank, you should guard yourself against identity theft. Check your credit report regularly and store or destroy personal documents appropriately. Consider an identity theft protection service to help you monitor your identity. Check out our other articles for more ways to prevent identity theft—and stay safe out there!

Sources

https://www.ic3.gov/media/annualreports.aspx
https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk
https://www.javelinstrategy.com/coverage-area/2018-identity-fraud-fraud-enters-new-era-complexity#

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