Detailed Findings & Methodology
Credit card fraud is by far the most common form of identity theft in the United States. Credit card related identity theft is often either the use of an individual’s credit card by an unauthorized third party to make purchases, or the use of an individual’s information to fraudulently obtain or open new credit cards.
Over a third of the 371,061 reported cases of identity theft in the United States in 2017 were some form of credit card fraud. Additionally, credit card fraud constitutes the largest share of identity theft crimes in all states but Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, and Rhode Island. And though identity theft is down overall, the incidence of credit card fraud on existing accounts is up 20% from 2016.
Both nationwide and in the majority of states, employment or tax-related fraud is the second most common form of identity theft.
Americans in their 30s have reported more cases of identity theft last year than any other age group, followed by those in their 40s. Americans age 19 and under and 70 and older are the least likely to report identity theft.
The amount victims of identity theft and other forms of fraud typically lose also varies nationwide. In Wyoming, the median loss in all cases of fraud totalled $565, the most of any state. On the other end of the spectrum, in Rhode Island, the median loss to fraud was $312.
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 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. We also considered the median amount lost in all forms of fraud. All figures are for 2017 and were obtained from the FTC’s report.