States With the Most Identity Theft

May 16, 2018 by Sam Stebbins

Source: scyther5 / iStock

Tax day has come and gone, and whether they know it or not, those who waited until the last minute to file put themselves at increased risk of identity theft. There were nearly 63,000 reported cases of tax-related identity theft alone in 2017. One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of a criminal using your personal information to claim your tax return is to file as early as possible.

Identity theft is a broad category that covers a range of crimes, including tax fraud. Generally, identity theft is defined as the third party use of an individual’s identifying information, such as social security number or credit card number, to commit fraud or theft. Identity theft can take the form of utilities fraud, loan or lease fraud, government benefits fraud, and credit card fraud.

As the IRS and financial institutions have stepped up efforts to combat identity theft, the number of reported cases in the United States has fallen over the last two years. There were 371,061 reported cases of all forms of identity theft in 2017, down from 399,222 in 2016 and from the 490,226 known incidents in 2015.

One’s likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft appears to depend heavily on place of residence as the incidence of identity theft ranges considerably across the United States. South Dakota has the lowest incidence of identity theft, with just 46 reported cases for every 100,000 residents. In other states, however, identity theft is more than three times as common as in South Dakota.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book to identify the states with the most and least identity theft.

Click here to see the states with the most identity theft.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Thinkstock

50. South Dakota
> Identity theft complaints: 46 per 100,000 (total: 403)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $388 (6th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (45% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (20% of total)

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49. West Virginia
> Identity theft complaints: 55 per 100,000 (total: 1,000)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (32% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Phone or utilities fraud (23% of total)

Source: redjar / Flickr

48. Vermont
> Identity theft complaints: 57 per 100,000 (total: 354)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $494 (15th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (45% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Bank fraud (16% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

47. Iowa
> Identity theft complaints: 59 per 100,000 (total: 1,870)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $495 (12th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (26% of total)

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46. Maine
> Identity theft complaints: 60 per 100,000 (total: 806)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $441 (21st lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (32% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (30% of total)

Source: Prizrak 2084 / Wikimedia Commons

45. Montana
> Identity theft complaints: 61 per 100,000 (total: 638)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $481 (18th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (36% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (27% of total)

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44. Nebraska
> Identity theft complaints: 61 per 100,000 (total: 1,170)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $443 (22nd lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (21% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

43. North Dakota
> Identity theft complaints: 62 per 100,000 (total: 467)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (41% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (20% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

42. Hawaii
> Identity theft complaints: 62 per 100,000 (total: 890)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $458 (22nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (46% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Bank fraud (17% of total)

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41. Wisconsin
> Identity theft complaints: 64 per 100,000 (total: 3,731)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $440 (20th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (23% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

40. Wyoming
> Identity theft complaints: 67 per 100,000 (total: 389)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $565 (the highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (32% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Phone or utilities fraud (22% of total)

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39. Alaska
> Identity theft complaints: 67 per 100,000 (total: 494)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $454 (24th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (24% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

38. Mississippi
> Identity theft complaints: 69 per 100,000 (total: 2,064)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $367 (4th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (25% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (25% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

37. Arkansas
> Identity theft complaints: 69 per 100,000 (total: 2,084)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $405 (12th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (29% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (27% of total)

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Source: Thinkstock

36. Kentucky
> Identity theft complaints: 69 per 100,000 (total: 3,060)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $450 (25th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (34% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (27% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

35. Louisiana
> Identity theft complaints: 71 per 100,000 (total: 3,340)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $411 (15th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (29% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (23% of total)

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34. Kansas
> Identity theft complaints: 72 per 100,000 (total: 2,100)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $499 (10th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (19% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

33. Oklahoma
> Identity theft complaints: 74 per 100,000 (total: 2,901)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $400 (11th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (32% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (24% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

32. Alabama
> Identity theft complaints: 74 per 100,000 (total: 3,609)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $400 (11th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (31% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (22% of total)

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31. Indiana
> Identity theft complaints: 75 per 100,000 (total: 5,027)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $495 (12th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (28% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (28% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

30. Minnesota
> Identity theft complaints: 78 per 100,000 (total: 4,324)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $495 (12th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (46% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Bank fraud (17% of total)

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29. Ohio
> Identity theft complaints: 78 per 100,000 (total: 9,121)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $400 (11th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (34% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (21% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

28. Idaho
> Identity theft complaints: 79 per 100,000 (total: 1,356)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (35% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (23% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

27. Utah
> Identity theft complaints: 79 per 100,000 (total: 2,452)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (34% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (22% of total)

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26. New Hampshire
> Identity theft complaints: 82 per 100,000 (total: 1097)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $410 (14th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (39% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (23% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

25. Missouri
> Identity theft complaints: 82 per 100,000 (total: 4,994)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $426 (17th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (33% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (24% of total)

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24. Tennessee
> Identity theft complaints: 83 per 100,000 (total: 5,586)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $444 (23rd lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (31% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (21% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

23. Massachusetts
> Identity theft complaints: 88 per 100,000 (total: 6,016)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $450 (25th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (41% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (21% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

22. Oregon
> Identity theft complaints: 90 per 100,000 (total: 3,714)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $499 (10th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (40% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (21% of total)

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21. South Carolina
> Identity theft complaints: 90 per 100,000 (total: 4,509)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $380 (5th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (34% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Phone or utilities fraud (21% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

20. Virginia
> Identity theft complaints: 90 per 100,000 (total: 7,656)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $438 (19th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (39% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (19% of total)

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19. New Mexico
> Identity theft complaints: 91 per 100,000 (total: 1,909)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (34% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (22% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

18. North Carolina
> Identity theft complaints: 92 per 100,000 (total: 9,424)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $400 (11th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (37% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Phone or utilities fraud (19% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

17. Pennsylvania
> Identity theft complaints: 97 per 100,000 (total: 12,468)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $408 (13th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (42% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Phone or utilities fraud (19% of total)

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Source: Thinkstock

16. Washington
> Identity theft complaints: 99 per 100,000 (total: 7,360)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $460 (20th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (44% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Bank fraud (18% of total)

Source: Aurelien Guichard / Flickr

15. New York
> Identity theft complaints: 103 per 100,000 (total: 20,397)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $425 (16th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (40% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (20% of total)

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Source: Thinkstock

14. New Jersey
> Identity theft complaints: 106 per 100,000 (total: 9,533)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $480 (19th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (43% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (18% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

13. Colorado
> Identity theft complaints: 108 per 100,000 (total: 6,051)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $484 (17th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (35% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (27% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

12. Connecticut
> Identity theft complaints: 114 per 100,000 (total: 4,078)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $488 (16th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (43% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (20% of total)

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11. Texas
> Identity theft complaints: 118 per 100,000 (total: 33,454)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $446 (24th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (33% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (22% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

10. Arizona
> Identity theft complaints: 119 per 100,000 (total: 8,330)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (32% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (31% of total)

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9. Georgia
> Identity theft complaints: 120 per 100,000 (total: 12,548)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $350 (3rd lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (36% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (19% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

8. Rhode Island
> Identity theft complaints: 123 per 100,000 (total: 1,302)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $312 (the lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (35% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (31% of total)

7. Illinois
> Identity theft complaints: 124 per 100,000 (total: 15,841)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $460 (20th highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (39% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (19% of total)

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Source: Thinkstock

6. Delaware
> Identity theft complaints: 126 per 100,000 (total: 1,211)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $350 (3rd lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (30% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (24% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

5. Nevada
> Identity theft complaints: 128 per 100,000 (total: 3,828)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (39% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (32% of total)

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4. Maryland
> Identity theft complaints: 129 per 100,000 (total: 7,788)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $458 (22nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (35% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (26% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

3. California
> Identity theft complaints: 140 per 100,000 (total: 5,5418)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $500 (2nd highest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (43% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (20% of total)

Source: Thinkstock

2. Florida
> Identity theft complaints: 149 per 100,000 (total: 31,167)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $428 (18th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (40% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Bank fraud (18% of total)

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Source: Thinkstock

1. Michigan
> Identity theft complaints: 151 per 100,000 (total: 15,027)
> Median loss for all types of fraud: $400 (11th lowest)
> Most common form of ID theft: Government Documents or Benefits fraud (27% of total)
> Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (26% of total)

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.