Residents in Georgia fall victim to identity theft more often than the rest of America, and habitual procrastinators who wait to file their taxes are particularly at risk, according to a new report. There were 371,061 reported cases of identity theft last year, including 12,548 in Georgia, the online financial news site 24/7 Wall St. reported this week.
Overall, identity theft seems to be falling in the country. There were nearly 400,000 cases in 2016 and more than 490,000 known incidents in 2015, the report said.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft seems to depend heavily where you live, the site said. South Dakota had the lowest rate of identity theft with just 46 reported cases for every 100,000 residents. But other states, such as Michigan and Florida, saw identity theft rates that were more than three times as high.
In Georgia, the rate of identity theft complaints was 120 per 100,000 people, landing it in the top 10; Georgia has the 9th highest identity theft rate in America, according to the 24/7 Wall St. report.
- Identity theft complaints: 120 per 100,000 (total: 12,548)
- Median loss for all types of fraud: $350 (3rd lowest)
- Most common form of ID theft: Credit card fraud (36 percent of total)
- Second most common form of ID theft: Employment or tax-related fraud (19 percent of total)
Identity theft typically means a third party used someone’s personal identifying information — such as social security number or credit card number — to commit fraud or theft.
Credit card fraud was far and away the most common form of identity theft. This means an individual’s credit card was either used to buy stuff without the victim’s permission or to open new cards in the victim’s name.
Get tips from Georgia’s Consumer Protection Unit on how to protect yourself from identity thieves.
Do you think you have been a victim of identity theft? Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
— By Dan Hampton and Elizabeth Janney
Image via Shutterstock.
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