Special Report

States With the Most (and Least) Identity Theft

Thinkstock

The risk of identity theft in the United States continues to rise. The incidence of such crimes rose consistently over the last decade, from 246,214 in 2006 to 399,225 last year.

The rate of identity theft varies considerably between states. Using the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states with the most and least identity theft.

The Consumer Sentinel Network received over 3 million complaints in 2016. Of these, identity theft comprised 13%, the third largest complaint category after debt collection and impostor scams.

Click here to see the states with the most and least identity theft.

The risk of identify theft has increased as larger quantities of personal data continue to be exchanged over the internet. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the security of nearly 7.4 million personal records — a name plus a social security number, driver’s license number, medical or financial record — have been compromised so far this year.

Because often there is little that law enforcement can do, many victims do not report identity theft. While identity theft is a serious crime, only 27% of identity theft cases documented with the Consumer Sentinel Network are reported to law enforcement.

Other types of fraud, tracked separately from identity theft, can also have devastating effects on American consumers. Of the 3 million total complaints in 2016, 1.3 million were fraud related. The typical consumer involved in these scams lost $450.

Impostor scams were the most common form of fraud reported. Scammers claiming to be a loved one stranded abroad without money, computer technicians selling unneeded software, and criminals posing as government agencies are all some of the most common types of impostor scams.

To determine the states with the most and least identity theft, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed consumer complaints of identity theft per 100,000 residents in every state with data from the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Also considered were total identity theft complaints, fraud complaints per 100,000 residents, and the average amount stolen by a scammer. All figures are for 2016 and were obtained from the FTC’s report.

These are the states with the most and least identity theft.

An aerial view of a Maui beach, Kahului, Hawaii
Source: Thinkstock

50. Hawaii
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 55.2
> Identity theft complaints: 789 (7th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 277.2 (11th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $996 (23rd highest)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Dk4hb / Wikimedia Commons

49. South Dakota
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 58.1
> Identity theft complaints: 503 (4th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 214.8 (2nd lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,251 (8th highest)

City of Morgantown in West Virginia
Source: Thinkstock

48. West Virginia
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 59.7
> Identity theft complaints: 1,093 (8th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 407.6 (2nd highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $535 (the lowest)

North Dakota, Farm, Tractor
Source: Thinkstock

47. North Dakota
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 61.3
> Identity theft complaints: 465 (3rd lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 186.7 (the lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,032 (17th highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Vermont farm house
Source: Thinkstock

46. Vermont
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 62.0
> Identity theft complaints: 387 (the lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 268.2 (9th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $674 (2nd lowest)

Louisville at dusk, Kentucky
Source: Thinkstock

45. Kentucky
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 65.3
> Identity theft complaints: 2,898 (21st lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 300.5 (23rd lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $876 (tied-11th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Des Moines, Iowa
Source: Thinkstock

44. Iowa
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 68.1
> Identity theft complaints: 2,135 (16th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 218.9 (3rd lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,141 (10th highest)

Montana ghost town, dirt road
Source: Thinkstock

43. Montana
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 68.2
> Identity theft complaints: 711 (5th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 320.1 (22nd highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,016 (19th highest)

Downtown Skyline Shreveport Louisiana
Source: Thinkstock

42. Louisiana
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 69.7
> Identity theft complaints: 3,264 (22nd lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 327.5 (19th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $975 (25th highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Wyoming
Source: Thinkstock

41. Wyoming
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 74.6
> Identity theft complaints: 437 (2nd lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 281.6 (13th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,154 (9th highest)

Indianapolis, Indiana
Source: Thinkstock

40. Indiana
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 76.8
> Identity theft complaints: 5,091 (21st highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 295.6 (17th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $952 (tied-22nd lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Source: Thinkstock

39. Arkansas
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 77.2
> Identity theft complaints: 2,308 (17th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 306.2 (25th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,125 (13th highest)

Jackson Mississippi Skyline
Source: Thinkstock

38. Mississippi
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 79.6
> Identity theft complaints: 2,378 (18th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 303.8 (24th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,330 (5th highest)

Mountain hilking trail leads the Idaho mountains
Source: Thinkstock

37. Idaho
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 80.1
> Identity theft complaints: 1,348 (11th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 296.5 (19th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,092 (14th highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

View of downtown Mobile, Alabama
Source: Thinkstock

36. Alabama
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 82.4
> Identity theft complaints: 4,007 (25th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 383.4 (6th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $893 (15th lowest)

Aerial view of Omaha, Nebraska
Source: Thinkstock

35. Nebraska
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 83.1
> Identity theft complaints: 1,584 (14th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 267.9 (8th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,029 (18th highest)

[in-text-ad]

Salt Lake City, Utah
Source: Thinkstock

34. Utah
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 83.2
> Identity theft complaints: 2,540 (20th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 252.4 (4th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,343 (4th highest)

Oklahoma City Sunrise
Source: Thinkstock

33. Oklahoma
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 85.1
> Identity theft complaints: 3,337 (23rd lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 276.1 (10th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,003 (21st highest)

City of Kingsport, Tennessee At Night
Source: Thinkstock

32. Tennessee
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 86.0
> Identity theft complaints: 5,718 (20th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 363.3 (8th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $902 (16th lowest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Wichita, Kansas
Source: Thinkstock

31. Kansas
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 87.1
> Identity theft complaints: 2,532 (19th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 305.9 (25th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,084 (15th highest)

Milwaukee Houses, Wisconsin
Source: Thinkstock

30. Wisconsin
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 87.5
> Identity theft complaints: 5,054 (22nd highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 258.4 (6th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $964 (25th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Portland, Maine 2
Source: Thinkstock

29. Maine
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 87.9
> Identity theft complaints: 1,170 (9th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 264.7 (7th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $736 (3rd lowest)

Charleston, South Carolina
Source: Thinkstock

28. South Carolina
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 89.5
> Identity theft complaints: 4,438 (24th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 345.1 (12th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $876 (tied-11th lowest)

Akron, Ohio
Source: Thinkstock

27. Ohio
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 94.8
> Identity theft complaints: 11,009 (9th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 297.3 (20th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $952 (tied-22nd lowest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Two seaplanes parked at a harbor, Ketchikan, Alaska
Source: Thinkstock

26. Alaska
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 96.1
> Identity theft complaints: 713 (6th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 256.9 (5th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,541 (2nd highest)

Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Source: Wikimedia Commons

25. North Carolina
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 96.1
> Identity theft complaints: 9,746 (11th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 330.4 (17th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $843 (8th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2
Source: Thinkstock

24. New Mexico
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 96.9
> Identity theft complaints: 2,016 (15th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 339.8 (13th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,309 (6th highest)

New Hampshire
Source: Thinkstock

23. New Hampshire
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 101.3
> Identity theft complaints: 1,352 (12th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 311.7 (24th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $817 (5th lowest)

New York Columbus Circle
Source: Thinkstock

22. New York
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 102.3
> Identity theft complaints: 20,205 (4th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 293.8 (16th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,138 (11th highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Lynchburg, Virginia, USA Skyline
Source: Thinkstock

21. Virginia
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 104.3
> Identity theft complaints: 8,772 (12th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 350.6 (11th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $920 (18th lowest)

Portland Oregon
Source: Thinkstock

20. Oregon
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 105.3
> Identity theft complaints: 4,312 (25th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 334.1 (14th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $850 (9th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Boston, Cambridge Skyline, Aerial view, Charles River and Beacon Hill
Source: Thinkstock

19. Massachusetts
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 107.0
> Identity theft complaints: 7,287 (17th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 296.5 (18th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $932 (19th lowest)

Duluth, Minnesota
Source: Thinkstock

18. Minnesota
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 107.2
> Identity theft complaints: 5,919 (19th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 284.0 (14th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $998 (22nd highest)

Hanover, Pennsylvania
Source: Thinkstock

17. Pennsylvania
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 109.7
> Identity theft complaints: 14,030 (7th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 326.4 (21st highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $960 (24th lowest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Princeton Chapel, New Jersey
Source: Thinkstock

16. New Jersey
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 111.5
> Identity theft complaints: 9,977 (10th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 299.3 (21st lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $983 (24th highest)

Telluride, Colorado
Source: Thinkstock

15. Colorado
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 112.0
> Identity theft complaints: 6,203 (18th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 332.1 (16th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $890 (14th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Seattle (King County), Washington
Source: Thinkstock

14. Washington
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 114.0
> Identity theft complaints: 8,310 (14th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 332.2 (15th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,013 (20th highest)

Providence, Rhode Island
Source: Thinkstock

13. Rhode Island
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 115.1
> Identity theft complaints: 1,216 (10th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 286.6 (15th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $905 (17th lowest)

El Paso, Texas 2
Source: Thinkstock

12. Texas
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 119.2
> Identity theft complaints: 33,214 (3rd highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 326.8 (20th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $2,305 (the highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Atlanta, Georgia 2
Source: Thinkstock

11. Georgia
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 124.0
> Identity theft complaints: 12,787 (8th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 391.6 (5th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $949 (21st lowest)

Tucson, Arizona
Source: Thinkstock

10. Arizona
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 126.2
> Identity theft complaints: 8,748 (13th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 354.6 (10th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,129 (12th highest)

[in-text-ad]

Reno, Nevada downtown during winter
Source: Thinkstock

9. Nevada
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 135.8
> Identity theft complaints: 3,993 (24th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 403.0 (3rd highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,275 (7th highest)

St. Louis, Missouri
Source: Thinkstock

8. Missouri
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 136.1
> Identity theft complaints: 8,292 (15th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 329.9 (18th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $769 (4th lowest)

Johns Hopkins, Maryland
Source: Thinkstock

7. Maryland
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 137.1
> Identity theft complaints: 8,251 (16th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 398.1 (4th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $836 (7th lowest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Hartford, Connecticut
Source: Thinkstock

6. Connecticut
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 137.9
> Identity theft complaints: 4,933 (23rd highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 300.1 (22nd lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $942 (20th lowest)

Chicago, Illinois 4
Source: Thinkstock

5. Illinois
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 138.0
> Identity theft complaints: 17,660 (5th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 278.7 (12th lowest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $889 (13th lowest)

[in-text-ad]

Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One, California driving
Source: Thinkstock

4. California
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 139.5
> Identity theft complaints: 54,744 (the highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 319.4 (23rd highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,348 (3rd highest)

Delaware
Source: Thinkstock

3. Delaware
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 155.9
> Identity theft complaints: 1,484 (13th lowest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 380.1 (7th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $870 (10th lowest)

Miami city tropical view, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

2. Florida
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 166.8
> Identity theft complaints: 34,384 (2nd highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 416.1 (the highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $1,078 (16th highest)

[in-text-ad-2]

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Source: Thinkstock

1. Michigan
> Identity theft complaints per 100,000: 175.6
> Identity theft complaints: 17,430 (6th highest)
> Fraud complaints per 100,000: 358.4 (9th highest)
> Avg. loss per scam: $828 (6th lowest)

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.