Americans in These States Are the Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud
The recent Equifax hack has left millions of Americans vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. But the Equifax hack is only one of the identity breaches that have occurred this year. In fact, this year has been the worst year on record for recording the most cases of such breaches and we may now have a list of the worst states for identity theft and fraud.
According to the latest Data Breach Report by the Identity Theft Resource Center, more than 8,000 breaches have already occurred this year. This is the highest level recorded in history. The previous record high was 1,093 breaches in 2016. This represents a whopping 630% increase in cases of stolen identities in just one year.
A recent study by personal finance web site, WalletHub, has found that not all Americans are equally susceptible to these frauds. Some states are more vulnerable than others when it comes to crimes related to stolen identities and similar frauds.
WalletHub analyzed all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for eight different metrics—four positive and four negative—and then assigned them overall rankings as the worst states for identity theft and fraud.
California Tops Worst States for Identity Theft and Fraud
California has ranked on the top of the list, being the state most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Following California are Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Florida, and Georgia. The five states make the list of top five worst states for identity theft and fraud.
California ranked high in three of the four negative metrics. The state made it to the top five states that recorded the most identity theft complaints per capita this year. It also ranked first on the list of states where the highest average losses occurred due to online identity thefts. The state also ranked in the list of top five states where Americans lost the most money to fraud.
All in all; Californians face the highest threat of identity thefts and frauds. It is understandable why the state is heavily targeted by fraudsters. California is not only the most populous state in the country, it is also home to some of the wealthiest Americans.
Los Angeles—the country’s entertainment industry hub—has some of the most expensive estates housing filthy rich residents. Likewise, San Francisco and its Silicon Valley are the country’s biggest technology hubs and now home to some of America’s richest business owners and investors.
So Californians must watch their backs as cases of stolen identities, online phishing scams, and money-related frauds intensify.
“2017’s States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud,” WalletHub, October 18, 2017.