Special Report

10 States With the Most Identity Theft

10. California
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
> Total identity theft complaints: 55,305 (the highest)
> Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 750 (2nd highest)
> Avg. amount stolen: $1,468 (3rd highest)

There were 55,305 reported cases of identify theft in California in 2015. This was by far the largest number compared with other states. Adjusted for the population, at 141.3 cases per 100,000 people, it was the 10th highest incidence of identity theft. The largest share of identity theft cases — nearly a third — involved government documents, such as fraudulent tax filings, or benefits fraud, followed closely by credit card fraud. Identity theft can be extremely costly, and this is especially the case in California. The typical victim of fraud lost $1,468, the third highest amount of all states. By contrast, the average scam nationwide costs the victim $1,154.

9. New Hampshire
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
> Total identity theft complaints: 1,890 (13th lowest)
> Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 572 (10th lowest)
> Avg. amount stolen: $1,163 (12th highest)

Among the top 10 states for identity theft, New Hampshire is exceptionally small. Also, while other states particularly vulnerable to identity theft also had a high incidence of all types of fraud, in New Hampshire, the 572 fraud complaints per 100,000 residents was among the lowest. This means that a disproportionately large share of frauds committed in the state are identify thefts. Of Identity theft cases reported last year, more than two-thirds involved government documents or benefits fraud.

8. Texas
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
> Total identity theft complaints: 39,630 (3rd highest)
> Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 941 (3rd highest)
> Avg. amount stolen: $1,157 (14th highest)

Victims reported 39,630 counts of identity theft in Texas last year, equivalent to 144.3 incidents for every 100,000 state residents. Nationally, government documents or benefits fraud are the most common form of identity theft, while credit card fraud is the second most common — and this is also the case in Texas. Of all cases of identity theft in the Lone Star State, 48% involved government documents or benefits fraud, and 14% involved credit card fraud. Like a number of other states, Texas reported a spike in debt collection scams, which made up 55% of all fraud complaints in the state last year.

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