California Ranked as Worst State for Identity Theft

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The Equifax data breach, affecting the information of an estimated 145.5 million American consumers, was one of the largest hacks in cybercrime history. But the credit bureau is hardly alone. Other credit entities, government agencies and financial institutions — the organizations consumers trust the most to secure information — are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Some parts of the country, such as California, are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others, based on a study done by WalletHub. There are fewer cybercrime incidents in Iowa and West Virginia.

And the number of hacking incidents is climbing. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report, 2017 is on pace to have the highest number of data breaches since the center began tracking them in 2005, according to information provided by WalletHub. As of October 10, nearly 1,100 breaches accessing more than a billion records had occurred, compared with last year’s previous high of 1,093.

To determine what areas are most likely to be exposed to identity theft and fraud, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight metrics. Its data set ranges from identity theft complaints per capita to average loss amount because of fraud.

California ranked first overall as the worst state for identity theft and fraud, followed by Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Florida and Georgia. The states that fared the best are Iowa, West Virginia, Hawaii, Wyoming and Kansas.

The District of Columbia had the most identity theft complaints per capita, while Hawaii had the fewest. California and Rhode Island tied for the highest average loss amount because of online identity theft, and South Dakota had lowest average.

People in Alaska and Texas had the highest average loss amount due to fraud, and the District of Columbia had the largest amount of loss as a result of fraud.