Safest US States by Fraud and Scam 2020

EPF Last Update: June 7, 2020

Key Findings

  • There were 2.68 million total fraud reports.
  • The safest state is North Dakota, with a score of 2.77 and 2,090 reports overall.
  • The least safe state is Florida, with 9.93 reports per 1,000 people and 208.443 total complaints.
  • The ratio between the least safe and the safest state (Florida/North Dakota) is 3.58.
  • Again, similar to the pattern in our identity theft analysis, there are five states with fewer than 1 million residents in the top 10 states.
  • Among 10 states with the lowest score, three have more than 10 million people. This leads us to the same conclusion as in our identity theft analysis.
  • The least populated states are obviously safer than those with the largest population.

Residents in some states are more vulnerable to fraud and scams, according to a review of federal data by ElitePersonalFinance. There were around 2.7 million complaints in the US, according to the data from the Federal Trade Commission report.

According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, U.S. consumers paid $905 million in fraud complaints, while the average sum paid was $429.

You wouldn’t be wrong if you said that fraud is more prevalent in bigger states. This is another post in the series of posts by ElitePersonalFinance in which we analyzed safety levels across the country. This time, we picked fraud level in states as our category.

Ranking Criteria

For this analysis, ElitePersonalFinance collected data from Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

To determine the safest states, we calculated the number of fraud and other scams complaints per 1,000 residents. This means that the safest states have the ‘lowest scores’. For example, the safest state, North Dakota, has a score of 2.77, which means that 2.77 in 1,000 of its residents reported fraud.

The least safe state is Florida, with a score of 9.93, or 9.93 complaints per 1,000 residents.

*Please note that not all cases were reported by victims.

10 Safest States in The US

1st Place – North Dakota

Fraud reports per 1,000: 2.77
Total fraud reports: 2,090

Congratulations! First place well deserved. Not only did North Dakota top all other states in this category, but it also scored very high on our identity theft safety list.

2nd Place – South Dakota

Fraud reports per 1,000: 3.09
Total fraud reports: 2,689

This time, the two Dakotas remain unseparated, unlike in the fraud list. In this one, the two sisters are a great example of maintaining fraud safety at a formidable level.

3rd Place – Iowa

Fraud reports per 1,000: 3.30
Total fraud reports: 10,370

With the 4th place in the fraud category and the 3rd place in this one, Iowa is definitely one of the safest states when it comes to fraud.

4th Place  Vermont

Fraud reports per 1000: 3.88
Total fraud reports: 2,417

Another state with small population got in the top 10. Vermont remains adamant and leaves no space for fraudsters to threaten its residents.

5th Place  Nebraska

Fraud reports per 1000: 3.95
Total fraud reports: 7,590

This is one more state that scored great in both categories. Nebraska, keep up the good work!

6th Place  Alaska

Fraud reports per 1000: 4.06
Total fraud reports: 3,005

The land of ice and snow scored much better on this test than on the identity theft safety test. When it comes to fraud, its residents can stay relatively calm.

7th Place – Utah

Fraud reports per 1000: 4.13
Total fraud reports: 12,817

This time, Utah ranked 7th on our list, two steps up from last year. Together with South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa, it makes this region undoubtedly the safest part of the US.

8th Place  Wyoming

Fraud reports per 1000: 4.14
Total fraud reports: 2,396

The least populated of all states can boast about its safety levels when it comes to fraud. This state scored high on both our lists, and we can only say: Congratulations!

9th Place  Maine

Fraud reports per 1000: 4.23
Total fraud reports: 5,647

Well done, Maine! One more state that scored high in both identity theft and fraud categories.

10th Place – Hawaii

Fraud reports per 1000: 4.28
Total fraud reports: 6,116

This island state took the last train to our top 10. But they made it and they should be admired when it comes to fraud safety.

If you want to see the entire list of US states by fraud, take a look at our list below:

Full List of US States by Fraud 2020

(Washington D.C. was not included in this list)

RankStateTotal Number of Fraud ReportsFraud Score
1North Dakota2,0902.77
2South Dakota2,6893.09
18West Virginia8,9534.93
21New Hampshire6,8325.09
22New York101,2655.10
29New Jersey50,0855.56
31Rhode Island5,9475.61
35North Carolina60,2615.87
36New Mexico12,3265.90
42South Carolina33,1376.60

ElitePersonalFinance Analyzed The States by Population and Create 3 Additional Tables:

  • States with less than 1 million residents.
  • 1 – 10 million residents.
  • Over 10 million residents.

States with Less Than 1 Million Residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Fraud ReportsFraud Score
1 (1)North Dakota2,0902.77
2 (2)South Dakota2,6893.09
3 (4)Vermont2,4173.88
4 (6)Alaska3,0054.06
5 (8)Wyoming2,3964.14
6 (47)Delaware7,2907.58

States with 1-10 Million Residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Fraud ReportsFraud Score
1 (3)Iowa10,3703.30
2 (5)Nebraska7,5903.95
3 (7)Utah12,8174.13
4 (9)Maine5,6474.23
5 (10)Hawaii6,1164.28
6 (11)Minnesota24,2004.34
7 (12)Wisconsin26,1964.52
8 (13)Montana4,9684.73
9 (14)Idaho8,1874.77
10 (15)Oklahoma18,7704.78
11 (16)Massachusetts33,0064.81
12 (17)Arkansas14,4384.81
13 (18)West Virginia8,9534.93
14 (19)Kansas14,5865.01
15 (20)Kentucky22,3715.02
16 (21)New Hampshire6,8325.09
17 (23)Oregon21,2255.12
18 (24)Mississippi15,3395.14
19 (26)Indiana34,7655.21
20 (27)Washington38,5495.21
21 (28)Connecticut19,4025.41
22 (29)New Jersey50,0855.56
23 (31)Rhode Island5,9475.61
24 (32)Colorado31,8335.68
25 (34)Louisiana27,2665.82
26 (36)New Mexico12,3265.90
27 (38)Virginia51,9326.13
28 (39)Missouri39,1486.40
29 (40)Arizona45,1586.44
30 (41)Tennessee43,5796.49
31 (42)South Carolina33,1376.60
32 (43)Alabama33,4676.87
33 (44)Maryland42,0326.94
34 (46)Michigan74,6897.50
35 (48)Nevada23,0717.70

States with Over 10 Million Residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Fraud ReportsFraud Score
1 (22)New York101,2655.10
2 (25)Illinois66,3535.18
3 (30)Pennsylvania71,7715.60
4 (33)California225,2965.70
5 (35)North Carolina60,2615.87
6 (37)Ohio69,7645.98
7 (45)Texas206,3057.29
8 (49)Georgia96,3169.24
9 (50)Florida208,4439.93

How Safe is Your State?

In case you are concerned about fraud in your state, you can share it in the comments below. Likewise, if you are satisfied with the safety level in your state, please feel free to comment on that.


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

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Read more about identity theft here – We work every day to provide you with the highest quality information on identity theft.

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