In 2017 over 16.7 million Americans were victims of identity theft. We expect this to be a growing phenomenon and for this number to grow in the foreseeable future. Even though several companies have developed products to combat this problem and law enforcement officials have dedicated more resources to prosecute it, it remains very difficult to stay on top of this moving target.
A prime example of the complexity of keeping sensitive data secure is the Equifax data breach. Equifax reported that in 2017 a data security breach exposed the sensitive personal information of 143 million people to fraud. If a company that’s entire business model is predicated on personal data security can be breached, how can the rest of us stay safe?
Thieves tend to identify easy areas of opportunity and will focus first on the easiest pickings. Not surprisingly, there is a large disparity in incidences of identity theft across the country. A recent study conducted by ASecureLife highlights the top ten states for identity fraud. They used the following criteria:
- The number of complaints per capita
- The average amount an individual can lose due to online identity theft
- The average amounts an individual can lose due to fraud
- The number of persons arrested for fraud per capita
- The availability of security-freeze law for minors’ credit reports
- The availability of an identity-theft passport program
- Compliance with the REAL ID Act
This study tried to find how many people are victims of identity theft in each state, but also how specific states are working to protect the public.