Safest And Least Safe US Cities By Fraud and Scams 2019 - Elite Personal Finance
Fraud

Safest And Least Safe US Cities By Fraud and Scams 2019

EPF Last Update: December 10, 2018

Residents in some cities are more vulnerable to identity theft, according to a review of federal data by Elite Personal Finance. There were almost 2.7 million complaints in the U.S., according to the data from the Federal Trade Commission 2017 Report.

US consumers paid $905 million in fraud losses in 2017, while the average sum paid was $429.

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 the 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.

METHODOLOGY & RANKING SYSTEM

In order to assess fraud levels in cities across the US, the data was collected from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January-December 2017.

The next step was to analyze the data and calculate the number of fraud complaints per 1,000 residents. Thus, the city with the ‘lowest score’ is the best in terms of fraud safety. To explain further, Arecibo, PR, scored 0.55. In other words, there were 0.55 fraud complaints per 1,000 residents in this city.

On the other hand, as the least safe city, Homosassa Springs scored 12, which means that there were 12 complaints per 1,000 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

Rank City (Metropolitan Area) Total Number of Fraud Complaints Fraud Score
1 Arecibo, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area 101 0.55
2 San Germán, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area 72 0.56
3 Aguadilla-Isabela, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area 175 0.57
4 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,055 0.61
5 Ponce, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area 188 0.61
6 San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,635 0.76
7 Staunton-Waynesboro, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area 171 1.41
8 Danville, VA Micropolitan Statistical Area 179 1.73
9 El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 347 1.92
10 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,693 1.99
11 Harrisonburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area 292 2.2
12 Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area 710 2.26
13 Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,104 2.40
14 Holland, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area 284 2.46
15 Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 667 2.48
16 Laredo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 681 2.51
17 Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 395 2.55
18 Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 347 2.64
19 Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 452 2.66
20 Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 554 2.69
21 Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 285 2.77
22 Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area 723 2.78
23 Provo-Orem, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,694 2.81
24 Yakima, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 705 2.82
25 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area 481 2.84
26 Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 678 2.85
27 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,214 2.88
28 Sheboygan, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 334 2.89
29 Iowa City, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 493 2.92
30 Logan, UT-ID Metropolitan Statistical Area 400 2.94
31 Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 443 2.96
32 Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 343 2.98
33 Ogdensburg-Massena, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area 333 3.03
34 Odessa, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 479 3.04
35 St. Cloud, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 595 3.04
36 College Station-Bryan, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 781 3.06
37 State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 494 3.06
38 Ottawa-Peru, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area 461 3.08
39 Goldsboro, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 388 3.13
40 Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 323 3.16
41 Kennewick-Richland, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 897 3.16
42 Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area 583 3.19
43 Lancaster, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,727 3.21
44 Flagstaff, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 454 3.22
45 London, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area 416 3.25
46 Rochester, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 701 3.25
47 Kankakee, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 359 3.26
48 Morristown, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area 382 3.26
49 Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area 668 3.28
50 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,257 3.29
51 Bloomington, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 624 3.31
52 Wenatchee, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 391 3.32
53 Cedar Rapids, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 894 3.34
54 Lebanon, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 465 3.35
55 Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area 728 3.36
56 Sioux Falls, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area 863 3.37
57 Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan Statistical Area 733 3.37
58 Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area 409 3.39
59 Longview, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 359 3.41
60 Jamestown-Dunkirk-Fredonia, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area 442 3.41
61 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 936 3.41
62 Fond du Lac, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 349 3.42
63 Richmond-Berea, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area 365 3.43
64 Jackson, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area 545 3.44
65 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,545 3.46
66 Green Bay, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,111 3.49
67 St. George, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area 561 3.50
68 Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area 378 3.52
69 Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 355 3.53
70 Winchester, VA-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area 477 3.53
71 Whitewater-Elkhorn, WI Micropolitan Statistical Area 366 3.55
72 La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 486 3.55
73 Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,922 3.55
74 Wooster, OH Micropolitan Statistical Area 413 3.55
75 Champaign-Urbana, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 850 3.56
76 Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 549 3.57
77 St. Joseph, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area 453 3.58
78 Decatur, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 547 3.59
79 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,277 3.59
80 Appleton, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area 842 3.60
81 Williamsport, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 417 3.62
82 Lima, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 377 3.63
83 Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 776 3.67
84 Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 3,608 3.68
85 Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 539 3.68
86 Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,405 3.68
87 Utica-Rome, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,094 3.72
88 Mankato-North Mankato, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 372 3.72
89 Show Low, AZ Micropolitan Statistical Area 410 3.73
90 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 573 3.73
91 Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area 621 3.75
92 Traverse City, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area 557 3.75
93 Morgantown, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area 521 3.76
94 San Angelo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 451 3.76
95 Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,228 3.76
96 Muncie, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area 438 3.79
97 Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,648 3.79
98 Salem, OH Micropolitan Statistical Area 394 3.80
99 Peoria, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,429 3.80
100 Grand Junction, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area 570 3.80

50 Least Safe Cities By Fraud

Rank City (Metropolitan Area) Total Number of Fraud Complaints Fraud Score
1 Homosassa Springs, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,660 11.56
2 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 53,680 9.27
3 Ocala, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,885 8.27
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 24,972 8.24
5 Gainesville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,265 8.07
6 Montgomery, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,935 7.85
7 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 5,639 7.81
8 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 55,938 7.73
9 Prescott, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,737 7.70
10 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area 32,052 7.46
11 Santa Fe, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,107 7.45
12 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 45,051 7.43
13 Jacksonville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 10,889 7.37
14 Macon-Bibb County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,610 7.02
15 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 4,437 6.96
16 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area 16,666 6.74
17 Punta Gorda, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,189 6.66
18 Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area 8,865 6.60
19 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area 14,159 6.57
20 Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area 5,367 6.57
21 Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,722 6.56
22 Waco, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,735 6.54
23 Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 3,598 6.46
24 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 15,655 6.41
25 Wichita Falls, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 964 6.40
26 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 4,241 6.37
27 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,859 6.36
28 Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,947 6.31
29 Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 14,306 6.23
30 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 3,606 6.23
31 Huntsville, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,772 6.16
32 Brunswick, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 719 6.16
33 Killeen-Temple, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,682 6.15
34 Texarkana, TX-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area 921 6.14
35 Dover, DE Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,064 6.09
36 Savannah, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,327 6.06
37 Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area 3,326 6.03
38 Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 691 6.03
39 Fayetteville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,293 6.03
40 Port St. Lucie, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,793 6.00
41 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area 3,549 5.97
42 Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area 4,534 5.96
43 Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area 6,789 5.92
44 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 27,458 5.89
45 Asheville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,662 5.89
46 Missoula, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area 679 5.85
47 Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 883 5.83
48 Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 11,933 5.81
49 Charleston, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,256 5.76
50 Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 1,168 5.69

Key Findings

  • The safest city is Arecibo, PR, with a score of 0.55 and 101 total fraud complaints. It is followed by San Germán, PR and Aguadilla-Isabela, PR with 0.56 and 0.57 reports per 1,000 people respectively.
  • The least safe city is Homosassa Springs, FL, with 11.56 reports per 1,000 people and 1,660 total complaints. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA and Ocala, FL follow closely with respective scores of 9.27 and 8.27.
  • Homosassa Springs’ number of complaints per 1,000 people is almost 22 times higher than in Arecibo, PR.
  • Homosassa Springs scored worse than the safest 9 cities combined.
  • More populated cities are less safe than those with a 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.

 

Sources:

 

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

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