Safest States in the US by Identity Theft 2019 - Elite Personal Finance
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Safest States in the US by Identity Theft 2019

EPF Last Update: December 11, 2018

Residents in some states are more vulnerable to identity theft, according to a review of federal data by Elite Personal Finance. There were 371,061 identity theft complaints in the U.S. in 2017, according to the data from the Federal Trade Commission report.

Do you know that the Federal Trade Commission received about 2.7 million complaints in 2017? About 14% of them were related to identity theft.

Identity theft is one of the fastest rising crimes. The stats below prove that.

Total Numbers of Complaints

Total Numbers of Complains by Crime Types

Elite Personal Finance team has analyzed the numbers from FTC.gov in details.

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But before we present the data, we will give more information on how we ranked states.

METHODOLOGY & RANKING SYSTEM

The data was collected from the 2017 Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. (The data pertains to reports received from January to December 2017.)

To determine which states are the safest, we analyzed the data and calculated the number of identity theft complaints per 1,000 residents. Thus, the states with the ‘lowest score’ are actually the safest. For instance, as the safest state, South Dakota has a score of 0.46, which means that 0.46 in 1,000 South Dakota residents reported identity theft. Not a bad result, right?

On the other hand, Michigan, as the least safe state, has a score of 1.51 (1.51 identity theft complaints per 1,000 residents).

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

Without further ado, we present:

 

10 Safest States In The US

1st Place – South Dakota

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.46
Total identity theft reports: 403

This Midwestern state is home to 877,790 Americans. This mainly agricultural state did not only score high on our identity theft list, but also when it comes to fraud reports, where it ranked as the 2nd best. It looks like the giants of Mount Rushmore are carefully watching over South Dakota.

 

2nd Place – West Virginia

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.55
Total identity theft reports: 1,000

All residents of West Virginia (1,803,077) can now heave a sigh of relief, at least when it comes to identity theft. Well done, West Virginia!

 

3rd Place  Vermont

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.57
Total identity theft reports: 354

This state had the smallest number of total identity theft reports, which is not surprising if we take into account the number of its residents. The population of Vermont is 623,960, which is the 2nd lowest population of all the U.S. states, Wyoming being the least populated state.

 

4th Place – Iowa

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.59
Total identity theft reports: 1,870

This state is well-known for its cornfields and agriculture in general. However, now they can be proud of one more thing. With a population of 3,160,553, Iowa reached the 4thplace on the list of the safest identity theft states. They also ranked 3rd best in the category of fraud reports, closely following North and South Dakota.

 

5th Place – Maine

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.60
Total identity theft reports: 806

Maine has a population of 1,341,582 and it is one of the 10 least populated states. Besides being great at identity theft prevention, this state also ranks 9th on our list of the safest states by fraud.

 

6th Place – Nebraska

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.61
Total identity theft reports: 1,170

With a population of 1,932,549, Nebraska is one of the most successful states in identity theft and fraud prevention, ranking 5th on this list and 6th on the list of the safest states by fraud.

 

7th Place – Montana

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.61
Total identity theft reports: 638

The Land of the Shining Mountains is the 4th in size of all U.S .states. With a population of 1,062,330, it is among the 10 least populated states. However, it seems to successfully compensate for it by ranking 7th on this, more important list.

 

8th Place – Hawaii

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.62
Total identity theft reports: 890

This beautiful group of islands and, according to many people, the most exotic US state, ranked as the safest. With a population of 1,426,393, this paradise can boast about its safety in the identity theft category. Last year, it was the winner in this category, so it seems that its being the youngest state has no negative effect on how ‘wise’ it is.

 

9th Place – North Dakota

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.62
Total identity theft reports: 467

The colder of two Dakotas closely follows Hawaii when it comes to identity theft reports, but it can also be proud of its number of fraud reports, where they ranked 10th. It looks like Dakotas took fraud and identity theft prevention seriously.

 

10th Place – Wisconsin

 

Identity theft reports per 1,000: 0.64
Total identity theft reports: 3,731

Wisconsin has a population of 5,818,049, so this result is a great achievement, considering the fact that the least populated states are usually the safest. Way to go, Wisconsin!

 

In case your state did not rank in the top 10, take a look at the complete table of all 50 states:

Full List of US States By Identity Theft

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

RankStateTotal Number of Identity Theft ReportsIdentity Theft Score
1South Dakota4030.46
2West Virginia1,0000.55
3Vermont3540.57
4Iowa1,8700.59
5Maine8060.60
6Nebraska1,1700.61
7Montana6380.61
8Hawaii8900.62
9North Dakota4670.62
10Wisconsin3,7310.64
11Wyoming3890.67
12Alaska4940.67
13Arkansas2,0840.69
14Mississippi2,0640.69
15Kentucky3,0600.69
16Louisiana3,3400.71
17Kansas2,1000.72
18Alabama3,6090.74
19Oklahoma2,9010.74
20Indiana5,0270.75
21Ohio9,1210.78
22Minnesota4,3240.78
23Utah2,4520.79
24Idaho1,3560.79
25New Hampshire1,0970.82
26Missouri4,9940.82
27Tennessee5,5860.83
28Massachusetts6,0160.88
29Virginia7,6560.90
30South Carolina4,5090.90
31Oregon3,7140.90
32New Mexico1,9090.91
33North Carolina9,4240.92
34Pennsylvania12,4680.97
35Washington7,3600.99
36New York20,3971.03
37New Jersey9,5331.06
38Colorado6,0511.08
39Connecticut4,0781.14
40Texas33,4541.18
41Arizona8,3301.19
42Georgia12,5481.20
43Rhode Island1,3021.23
44Illinois15,8411.24
45Delaware1,2111.26
46Nevada3,8281.28
47Maryland7,7881.29
48California55,4181.40
49Florida31,1671.49
50Michigan15,0271.51

 

Key Findings

  • There were 371,061 total reported identity theft cases in 2017.
  • South Dakota is the safest state with 0.46 identity theft complaints per 1,000 people and 403 complaints overall.
  • Michigan, as the least safe state, had 1.51 identity theft complaints per 1,000 people and 15,027 complaints overall.
  • The ratio between the least safe and the safest state (Michigan/South Dakota) is 3.28.
  • As a matter of fact, the top 3 safest states combined almost have a better score than Michigan.
  • We have found a huge correlation between identity theft cases and the population in these states. Most of the states that rank in top 10 safest states are with less than 1 million residents. From those that rank as the least safe states, there is only one of them that is with less than 1 million residents (Delaware). The rest of them are relatively big states, with close to or over 10 million residents.
  • In addition, it seems that states with large metropolitan areas and business centers are more vulnerable to identity theft.

That’s why Elite Personal Finance analyzed the data more closely and made 3 additional tables (states with less than 1 million; 1-10 million; and over 10 million residents).

*Total rank is indicated in brackets.

 

States with fewer than 1 million residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Identity Theft ReportsIdentity Theft Score
1 (1)South Dakota4030.46
2 (3)Vermont3540.57
3 (9)North Dakota4670.62
4 (12)Alaska4940.67
5 (11)Wyoming3890.67
6 (45)Delaware1,2111.26

States with 1-10 million residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Identity Theft ReportsIdentity Theft Score
1 (2)West Virginia1,0000.55
2 (4)Iowa1,8700.59
3 (5)Maine8060.60
4 (7)Montana6380.61
5 (6)Nebraska1,1700.61
6 (8)Hawaii8900.62
7 (10)Wisconsin3,7310.64
8 (14)Mississippi2,0640.69
9 (13)Arkansas2,0840.69
10 (15)Kentucky3,0600.69
11 (16)Louisiana3,3400.71
12 (17)Kansas2,1000.72
13 (19)Oklahoma2,9010.74
14 (18)Alabama3,6090.74
15 (20)Indiana5,0270.75
16 (22)Minnesota4,3240.78
17 (24)Idaho1,3560.79
18 (23)Utah2,4520.79
19 (25)New Hampshire1,0970.82
20 (26)Missouri4,9940.82
21 (27)Tennessee5,5860.83
22 (28)Massachusetts6,0160.88
23 (31)Oregon3,7140.90
24 (30)South Carolina4,5090.90
25 (29)Virginia7,6560.90
26 (32)New Mexico1,9090.91
27 (35)Washington7,3600.99
28 (37)New Jersey9,5331.06
29 (38)Colorado6,0511.08
30 (39)Connecticut4,0781.14
31 (41)Arizona8,3301.19
32 (43)Rhode Island1,3021.23
33 (46)Nevada3,8281.28
34 (47)Maryland7,7881.29
35 (50)Michigan15,0271.51

States with more than 10 million residents

Rank (Total Rank)StateTotal Number of Identity Theft ReportsIdentity Theft Score
1 (21)Ohio9,1210.78
2 (33)North Carolina9,4240.92
3 (34)Pennsylvania12,4680.97
4 (36)New York20,3971.03
5 (40)Texas33,4541.18
6 (42)Georgia12,5481.20
7 (44)Illinois15,8411.24
8 (48)California55,4181.40
9 (49)Florida31,1671.49

How Safe Is Your State?

If you have any concerns about lack of identity theft safety 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.

Sources:

 

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 every day 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!

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