Safest And Least Safe US Cities By Fraud and Scams 2017

EPF July 20, 2017

Residents in some cities are more vulnerable to identity theft, according to a review of federal data by Elite Personal Finance. There were 3,050,374 complaints in the U.S., data from the Federal Trade Commission in 2016.

US consumers paid $744 million in fraud complaints in 2016, while the average sum paid was $450.

You wouldn’t be wrong, if you said that identity theft and fraud are more prevalent in urban areas. In fact, you can check our post on Safest US Cities by Identity Theft which clearly confirms this point, especially if you compare the results with those that we provided for Safest US States.

This is another post in the series of posts by Elite Personal Finance, in which we analyzed safety levels across the country. This time, we picked fraud in cities as our category.



In order to assess fraud levels in cities across the US, the data was collected from Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January-December 2016.

The next step was to analyze the data and calculate the number of fraud complaints per 1000 residents. Thus, the city with the ‘lowest score’ is the best in terms of fraud safety. To explain further, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, scored 1.555. In other words, in this city there were 1.555 fraud complaints per 1000 residents.

On the other hand, as the least safe city, Homosassa Springs scored 13.647, which means that there were 13.647 complaints per 1000 people in this city.

*Please note that not all the victims reported identity theft.

* *For more precise statistics, we analyzed metropolitan areas. Most of them have at least 100,000 residents, while a small number of them has 50,000 – 100,000.



100 Safest Cities (Metropolitan Areas) in the US

1McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX1,3101.555
2Yakima, WA4361.752
3Brownsville-Harlingen, TX7461.767
4El Centro, CA3812.114
5Visalia-Porterville, CA1,0122.201
6Yuma, AZ4532.218
7Bismarck, ND2992.309
8Grand Forks, ND-MN2432.372
9Bay City, MI2602.461
10Merced, CA6612.462
11Madera, CA3862.49
12La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN3452.519
13Elkhart-Goshen, IN5202.556
14St. Cloud, MN5002.572
15Eau Claire, WI4262.572
16Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA4422.591
17Salinas, CA1,1392.625
18College Station-Bryan, TX6552.629
19Logan, UT-ID3522.63
20State College, PA4282.665
21Provo-Orem, UT1,5772.692
22Harrisonburg, VA3542.7
23Fargo, ND-MN6342.711
24Rochester, MN5812.717
25Sioux Falls, SD6892.736
26El Paso, TX2,3232.769
27Dalton, GA4012.789
28Owensboro, KY3282.792
29Sioux City, IA-NE-SD4752.81
30Kankakee, IL 3132.823
31Saginaw, MI5462.825
32Goldsboro, NC3542.852
33Farmington, NM3402.863
34Midland, TX4782.867
35Cedar Rapids, IA7632.868
36Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI2,9842.873
37Houma-Thibodaux, LA6112.878
38Corpus Christi, TX1,3032.88
39Muskegon, MI4992.888
40Decatur, AL4422.895
41Modesto, CA1,5592.896
42Joplin, MO5152.906
43Lafayette, LA1,4312.918
44Lima, OH3052.921
45Hanford-Corcoran, CA4422.928
46Terre Haute, IN5022.935
47Decatur, IL3152.936
48Iowa City, IA4902.943
49Abilene, TX4992.943
50Kennewick-Richland, WA8232.949
51Odessa, TX4722.96
52Oshkosh-Neenah, WI5042.973
53Jonesboro, AR3832.983
54Gainesville, G5792.992
55Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA4633.014
56Sheboygan, WI3503.028
57Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN6513.037
58Lancaster, PA1,6313.039
59Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL1,1713.053
60Providence-Warwick, RI-MA4,9653.078
61South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI9933.102
62Muncie, IN3643.115
63Wenatchee, WA3633.125
64Fort Smith, AR-OK8763.126
65Dothan, AL4643.132
66Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA5703.136
67Jefferson City, MO4753.143
68Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA1,4043.157
69Gettysburg, PA3233.158
70Fond du Lac, WI3223.158
71Flagstaff, AZ4403.163
72Grand Junction, CO4703.165
73Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO1,6273.168
74Utica-Rome, NY9383.173
75Jackson, MI5063.173
76Athens-Clarke County, GA6463.179
77San Angelo, TX3813.184
78Idaho Falls, ID4453.184
79Yuba City, CA5453.188
80Morristown, TN3723.189
81Champaign-Urbana, IL7643.197
82Green Bay, WI1,0133.2
83Hattiesburg, MS4773.205
84Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA8793.206
85Appleton, WI7543.236
86Springfield, MA2,0513.245
87Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL4773.246
88Stockton-Lodi, CA2,3643.256
89Burlington-South Burlington, VT7073.257
90Wheeling, WV-OH4703.259
91Lansing-East Lansing, MI1,5403.261
92Lake Charles, LA6743.278
93Lebanon, PA4523.298
94Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA1,0143.302
95Battle Creek, MI4453.313
96Bakersfield, CA2,9293.32
97Lincoln, NE1,0753.322
98Springfield, MO1,5183.326
99St. George, UT5193.335
100Lewiston-Auburn, ME3583.339


50 Least Safe Cities By Fraud

1Homosassa Springs, FL1,92513.647
2Santa Fe, NM1,0807.264
3Prescott, AZ1,5657.041
4Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH8106.721
5Charleston, WV1,4336.496
6Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA3,5516.482
7Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC2,5615.929
8Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV35,5705.833
9Gainesville, FL1,5435.567
10Jacksonville, FL8,0265.537
11Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL3,1255.501
12Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ6855.418
13Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV11,3305.357
14Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD14,9155.332
15Missoula, MT6085.325
16Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA30,3705.318
17Richmond, VA6,7515.31
18Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL15,7745.302
19Lubbock, TX1,6345.251
20Pueblo, CO8505.196
21Dover, DE8995.181
22East Stroudsburg, PA8615.174
23Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL3,1905.118
24Laredo, TX1,3795.113
25Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL3,5745.091
26Asheville, NC2,2475.029
27Jacksonville, NC9375.029
28Kingston, NY9015.002
29Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO14,0434.99
30Beckley, WV6094.971
31Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL5744.965
32Birmingham-Hoover, AL5,6794.957
33Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL29,7424.947
34Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ22,6034.941
35Topeka, KS1,1554.94
36Colorado Springs, CO3,4364.924
37Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL7284.922
38Albany, OR5934.919
39Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL11,7364.916
40Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ9964.865
41Punta Gorda, FL8414.858
42Memphis, TN-MS-AR6,5294.857
43Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC11,7164.829
44Coeur d'Alene, ID7234.809
45Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL2,2884.786
46Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN8,7434.777
47St. Louis, MO-IL13,3754.757
48Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX33,7084.746
49North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL3,6494.746
50Columbia, SC3,8124.706


Key Findings

  • The safest city is McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, with a score of 1.555 and 1,310 total fraud complaints. . It is followed by Yakima, WA and Brownsville-Harlingen, TX with 1.752 and 1.767 reports per 1000 people respectively.
  • The least safe city is Homosassa Springs, FL, with 13.647 reports per 1000 people and 1,925 total complaints. Santa Fe, NM and Prescott, AZ follow closely with respective scores of 7.264 and 7.041.
  • Homosassa Springs’ number of complaints per 1000 people almost doubled the score of Santa Fe.
  • Homosassa Springs scored worse than the safest 6 cities combined.
  • More populated cities are less safe than those with smaller population.


How Safe Is Your City?

In case of any concerns about fraud issues in your city, you can share it in the comments below. Likewise, if you are satisfied with safety levels, please feel free to comment on that.



– Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January – December 2016

– Javelin Strategy & Research: 2017 Identity Fraud Study

United States Census Bureau: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016


Do you want to prevent identity theft? We can help.

100 Tips to Prevent Identity Theft – the most comprehensive list on the planet!

Read More About Identity Theft Here – we work everyday to provide you with the highest quality information on identity theft.

Identity Theft SafeGuard – The most comprehensive guide on how to prevent identity theft, written by Elite Personal Finance expert team!

Elite Personal Finance

July 20, 2017

Recommended Articles


Your Wallet on Vacation

EPF August 16, 2018

There are two types of people: those who pack their things two days before going on vacation and those who do it two hours before leaving their home. However, all of us have things that we always carry in our...

Recent posts
Find us on Facebook
Find us on Google+
Find us on twitter
Privacy & Security

Privacy and Security

Elite Personal Finance is take your privacy very serious!

We use secure and always up to date SSL certificate to provide private connection to our site.

Learn more

We have very transparent privacy policy.

Learn more

We also help you be online safe by writing a lot of guides on safety security and identity theft.

Learn more

In addition we collect minimum personal details on our site. In brief visiting our site is really safe and secure. However we have to say that there is no 100% security online!

As seen on