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Nevada second in identity theft among US states

Imagine coming home from a long day’s work, and as you’re going through the mail, you see a letter from a law firm. After opening it, you realize that you’re being sued for an outstanding debt by a credit card company you never use. At that moment, the phone rings — it’s a bill collector, seeking payment from you for a different outstanding debt that you never incurred. What is going on?

Sadly, this scenario — along with other identity theft scams — affected nearly 3 million people in 2018, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network, which is an online Federal Trade Commission database. To drill down into which states are the most prone to identity theft, GOBankingRates used information from the 2018 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book to find state-by-state trends about the frequency and type of identity theft scams.

Some of the data turned out to be eye-opening. For example, New York didn’t rank in the top 10 for identity theft in terms of consumer reports per 100,000 residents. In fact, the Peach State was actually the worst in the nation, followed by teh Silver State.

Overall, the most common types of identity theft include credit card fraud, phone or utilities fraud, employment or tax-related fraud, government documents and benefits fraud and more. As evidenced in the study, however, certain types of fraud are more common in individual states.

Identity theft is a painful but important problem to deal with because it can have far-reaching and devastating effects. A fraudster with your identity can impersonate you, open accounts in your name and even drain your bank accounts. While you shouldn’t have an irrational fear of identity theft, you should take proactive steps to help prevent it:

— Change your passwords often.

— Don’t share your personal information.

— Shred important documents when you dispose of them.

— Install appropriate antivirus and security software on all of your devices.

— And if you live in one of the worst states for identity theft, you may want to practice extra diligence and look into getting identity theft protection services.

1. Georgia

Reports per 100,000 residents: 229

Number of reports: 23,871

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 40%

Credit card fraud: 36%

Loan or lease fraud: 20%

Phone or utilities fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 8%

2. Nevada

Reports per 100,000 residents: 194

Number of reports: 5,816

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 41%

Credit card fraud: 29%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 12%

Phone or utilities fraud: 11%

3. California

Reports per 100,000 residents: 186

Number of reports: 73,668

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 41%

Other identity theft: 30%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

Phone or utilities fraud: 10%

Bank fraud: 10%

4. Florida

Reports per 100,000 residents: 180

Number of reports: 37,797

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 42%

Other identity theft: 27%

Bank fraud: 14%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

5. Texas

Reports per 100,000 residents: 159

Number of reports: 45,030

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Other identity theft: 26%

Loan or lease fraud: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 17%

Phone or utilities fraud: 14%

6. Delaware

Reports per 100,000 residents: 158

Number of reports: 1,517

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 35%

Phone or utilities fraud: 30%

Other identity theft: 19%

Loan or lease fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 10%

7. Maryland

Reports per 100,000 residents: 145

Number of reports: 8,747

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 37%

Other identity theft: 29%

Phone or utilities fraud: 16%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 11%

8. Michigan

Reports per 100,000 residents: 140

Number of reports: 13,952

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 23%

Credit card fraud: 23%

Government documents or benefits fraud: 23%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

9. Illinois

Reports per 100,000 residents: 127

Number of reports: 16,296

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 37%

Other identity theft: 23%

Phone or utilities fraud: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

Loan or lease fraud: 12%

10. Arizona

Reports per 100,000 residents: 126

Number of reports: 8,853

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 30%

Other identity theft: 26%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 24%

Phone or utilities fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 13%

11. South Carolina

Reports per 100,000 residents: 126

Number of reports: 6,339

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 36%

Credit card fraud: 30%

Loan or lease fraud: 18%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Bank fraud: 11%

12. New Jersey

Reports per 100,000 residents: 125

Number of reports: 11,273

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 46%

Other identity theft: 21%

Phone or utilities fraud: 15%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

Bank fraud: 11%

13. New York

Reports per 100,000 residents: 122

Number of reports: 24,248

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 42%

Other identity theft: 23%

Phone or utilities fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 13%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

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14. New Hampshire

Reports per 100,000 residents: 117

Number of reports: 1,565

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 42%

Phone or utilities fraud: 34%

Other identity theft: 16%

Bank fraud: 11%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 7%

15. North Carolina

Reports per 100,000 residents: 112

Number of reports: 11,481

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 32%

Credit card fraud: 31%

Phone or utilities fraud: 15%

Loan or lease fraud: 14%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 13%

16. Louisiana

Reports per 100,000 residents: 111

Number of reports: 5,202

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 34%

Credit card fraud: 31%

Loan or lease fraud: 20%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 13%

17. Colorado

Reports per 100,000 residents: 110

Number of reports: 6,151

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 34%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 21%

Other identity theft: 21%

Phone or utilities fraud: 18%

Bank fraud: 15%

18. Connecticut

Reports per 100,000 residents: 108

Number of reports: 3,864

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 40%

Phone or utilities fraud: 21%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 18%

Other identity theft: 17%

Bank fraud: 13%

19. Alabama

Reports per 100,000 residents: 108

Number of reports: 5,241

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 29%

Phone or utilities fraud: 18%

Loan or lease fraud: 17%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

20. Pennsylvania

Reports per 100,000 residents: 107

Number of reports: 13,725

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 37%

Other identity theft: 26%

Phone or utilities fraud: 21%

Bank fraud: 12%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

21. Tennessee

Reports per 100,000 residents: 101

Number of reports: 6,808

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Other identity theft: 32%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

Loan or lease fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 13%

22. Oregon

Reports per 100,000 residents: 101

Number of reports: 4,179

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Phone or utilities fraud: 21%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 18%

Other identity theft: 18%

Bank fraud: 16%

23. Washington

Reports per 100,000 residents: 100

Number of reports: 7,380

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 37%

Other identity theft: 21%

Bank fraud: 20%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 17%

Phone or utilities fraud: 12%

24. Mississippi

Reports per 100,000 residents: 97

Number of reports: 2,894

Top identity theft types:

Other identity theft: 32%

Credit card fraud: 28%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 21%

Loan or lease fraud: 19%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

25. Virginia

Reports per 100,000 residents: 97

Number of reports: 8,196

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 36%

Other identity theft: 28%

Phone or utilities fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 14%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 13%

26. New Mexico

Reports per 100,000 residents: 96

Number of reports: 2,000

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 27%

Other identity theft: 24%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 21%

Phone or utilities fraud: 18%

Bank fraud: 15%

27. Utah

Reports per 100,000 residents: 94

Number of reports: 2,915

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 25%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 21%

Loan or lease fraud: 15%

Bank fraud: 12%

28. Rhode Island

Reports per 100,000 residents: 93

Number of reports: 990

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 38%

Other identity theft: 24%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Bank fraud: 14%

Loan or lease fraud: 11%

29. Massachusetts

Reports per 100,000 residents: 93

Number of reports: 6,387

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 40%

Other identity theft: 23%

Phone or utilities fraud: 15%

Bank fraud: 14%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

30. Ohio

Reports per 100,000 residents: 88

Number of reports: 10,268

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 25%

Phone or utilities fraud: 18%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 13%

31. Missouri

Reports per 100,000 residents: 85

Number of reports: 5,222

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 27%

Bank fraud: 16%

Phone or utilities fraud: 15%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

32. Idaho

Reports per 100,000 residents: 80

Number of reports: 1,368

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 31%

Other identity theft: 25%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Loan or lease fraud: 14%

Bank fraud: 14%

33. Oklahoma

Reports per 100,000 residents: 79

Number of reports: 3,109

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 25%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 21%

Bank fraud: 15%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

34. Montana

Reports per 100,000 residents: 76

Number of reports: 799

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Phone or utilities fraud: 28%

Other identity theft: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 17%

Bank fraud: 10%

35. Indiana

Reports per 100,000 residents: 74

Number of reports: 4,918

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 30%

Other identity theft: 26%

Phone or utilities fraud: 20%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 13%

36. Kansas

Reports per 100,000 residents: 74

Number of reports: 2,142

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 36%

Other identity theft: 21%

Bank fraud: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 17%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

37. Arkansas

Reports per 100,000 residents: 73

Number of reports: 2,197

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 30%

Other identity theft: 24%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 19%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Bank fraud: 14%

38. Minnesota

Reports per 100,000 residents: 73

Number of reports: 4,070

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 40%

Other identity theft: 21%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 15%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

39. Hawaii

Reports per 100,000 residents: 72

Number of reports: 1,021

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 42%

Other identity theft: 29%

Bank fraud: 17%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 10%

Phone or utilities fraud: 9%

40. Alaska

Reports per 100,000 residents: 69

Number of reports: 507

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 38%

Other identity theft: 24%

Phone or utilities fraud: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 15%

Bank fraud: 15%

41. Nebraska

Reports per 100,000 residents: 67

Number of reports: 1,281

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 23%

Other identity theft: 22%

Bank fraud: 19%

Phone or utilities fraud: 10%

42. Wisconsin

Reports per 100,000 residents: 64

Number of reports: 3,731

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 24%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 20%

Bank fraud: 13%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

43. North Dakota

Reports per 100,000 residents: 63

Number of reports: 474

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 34%

Phone or utilities fraud: 25%

Other identity theft: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 11%

44. Wyoming

Reports per 100,000 residents: 58

Number of reports: 338

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Other identity theft: 24%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 20%

Bank fraud: 13%

Phone or utilities fraud: 13%

45. West Virginia

Reports per 100,000 residents: 58

Number of reports: 1,051

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Other identity theft: 22%

Phone or utilities fraud: 19%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 15%

46. Kentucky

Reports per 100,000 residents: 57

Number of reports: 2,522

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 35%

Other identity theft: 23%

Phone or utilities fraud: 17%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 15%

47. South Dakota

Reports per 100,000 residents: 56

Number of reports: 486

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 32%

Phone or utilities fraud: 24%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Other identity theft: 16%

Bank fraud: 15%

48. Maine

Reports per 100,000 residents: 56

Number of reports: 744

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 33%

Other identity theft: 19%

Government documents or benefits fraud: 17%

Bank fraud: 15%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 12%

49. Iowa

Reports per 100,000 residents: 53

Number of reports: 1,654

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 38%

Other identity theft: 20%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 16%

Bank fraud: 16%

Phone or utilities fraud: 15%

50. Vermont

Reports per 100,000 residents: 51

Number of reports: 316

Top identity theft types:

Credit card fraud: 39%

Other identity theft: 19%

Bank fraud: 17%

Phone or utilities fraud: 16%

Employment or tax-related fraud: 13%

All information was sourced from the Federal Trade Commission’s 2018 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book and verified on Nov. 25, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: States Where Identity Theft Runs Rampant

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