Throughout 2020, law enforcement reported 4.7 million cases of fraud, identity theft, and other scams. This shattered the previous record, from 2019, by nearly 1.5 million reports. In total, Americans lost $3.3 billion to fraud last year.
Though every state reported hundreds, if not thousands, of cases of fraud, the populations of some states were much more prone to identity theft than others. A few states reported less than 100 incidents per 100,000 residents, while three states reported over 1,000 incidents per 100,000.
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.
By far the most common type of identity theft in 2020 involved people fraudulently applying for government benefits. As the federal government offered loans to businesses and additional unemployment benefits to Americans because of the pandemic, there were nearly 400,000 reports of people fraudulently applying for or receiving benefits — a nearly 3,000% increase from the previous year.
In 2020, Illinois residents reported 135,038 different incidents of identity theft, or 1,066 incidents for every 100,000 residents — the third highest rate of identity theft among states.
Government documents or benefits fraud ranked as the most commonly reported type of identity theft in Illinois, accounting for 73% of all identity theft reports. The second most commonly reported form of identity theft was credit card fraud. That type was cited in 11% of all reports.
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 per capita. These are the states with the most identity theft.
|Rank||State||ID theft reports per 100K||Total ID theft reports||Most common theft type|
|50||South Dakota||72||637||Credit Card Fraud|
|49||Iowa||96||3,022||Credit Card Fraud|
|48||Nebraska||113||2,182||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|47||Alaska||127||926||Credit Card Fraud|
|46||Kentucky||127||5,693||Other Identity Theft|
|45||Vermont||130||810||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|44||Idaho||132||2,353||Credit Card Fraud|
|43||Minnesota||146||8,246||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|42||West Virginia||148||2,646||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|41||Wyoming||151||875||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|40||Wisconsin||154||8,986||Credit Card Fraud|
|39||New Mexico||165||3,454||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|38||North Dakota||166||1,266||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|37||New Hampshire||169||2,301||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|36||Oregon||176||7,432||Credit Card Fraud|
|35||Virginia||183||15,632||Credit Card Fraud|
|34||Connecticut||191||6,821||Credit Card Fraud|
|33||Ohio||222||25,893||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|32||Missouri||222||13,653||Other Identity Theft|
|31||Montana||228||2,439||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|30||Michigan||244||24,370||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|29||Indiana||257||17,306||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|28||Pennsylvania||265||33,886||Credit Card Fraud|
|27||Hawaii||271||3,835||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|26||Tennessee||281||19,182||Other Identity Theft|
|25||North Carolina||288||30,176||Other Identity Theft|
|24||Utah||292||9,366||Other Identity Theft|
|23||Maryland||343||20,718||Credit Card Fraud|
|22||New York||345||67,202||Credit Card Fraud|
|21||Oklahoma||349||13,797||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|20||Alabama||354||17,376||Credit Card Fraud|
|19||Colorado||361||20,762||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|18||New Jersey||362||32,125||Credit Card Fraud|
|17||Mississippi||371||11,048||Other Identity Theft|
|16||South Carolina||373||19,193||Other Identity Theft|
|15||California||373||147,382||Credit Card Fraud|
|14||Arizona||380||27,661||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|13||Delaware||449||4,374||Credit Card Fraud|
|12||Texas||465||134,788||Other Identity Theft|
|11||Florida||472||101,367||Credit Card Fraud|
|10||Louisiana||473||21,976||Loan or Lease Fraud|
|9||Maine||534||7,183||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|8||Arkansas||579||17,470||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|7||Georgia||654||69,487||Credit Card Fraud|
|6||Massachusetts||661||45,575||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|5||Washington||712||54,247||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|4||Nevada||740||22,801||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|3||Illinois||1,066||135,038||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|2||Rhode Island||1,191||12,621||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|
|1||Kansas||1,483||43,211||Government Documents or Benefits Fraud|