According to a recent study released by RewardExpert, those who reside in Nevada are most at risk for credit card fraud and identity theft. But luckily, prevention is simple.
RewardExpert is a free service that helps its users navigate the world of frequent flyer programs and credit card rewards. They released their findings Feb. 14 in a report identifying the most at-risk states for credit card fraud and identity theft.
“After the Equifax security breach, the whole country became gravely concerned about the security of their financial and personal information. However, events such as these take place on a smaller scale almost daily,” says RewardExpert CEO and co-founder Roman Shteyn. “The integral role of the internet in today’s society exposes all of us to risk, especially when it comes to our bank accounts, credit cards, and our credit histories. This report determines in which states your risk of becoming a victim is the highest, and in which states you are at relatively lower risk.”
The report specifically states Nevada ranks first among states in which the risk of credit card fraud and identity theft are highest. Nevada is the only state in which reports of identity theft increased from 2015 to 2016, according to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Report. The only positive development to report in the state is on a per-incident basis, the financial losses incurred by fraud are slightly lower than the national average.
But simple steps can be taken to help. Be sure to regularly review your bank account statements and credit card statements for unusual activity, monitor your credit report, and shred all sensitive documents after use. Also do your homework when applying for credit cards, and use a bank that offers the best in fraud prevention or offer an extra layer of security. Bank of America, USAA, and Wells Fargo all topped the list of companies that offer their clients fraud protection, according to RewardExpert. Taking these preventive steps could be the difference between security or years of financial and personal tumult.
RewardExpert used three key data sets to obtain the most current statistics on credit card fraud and identity theft in each state: the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2016 annual state-by-state report, the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Report for 2016 and 2015, and complaints filed with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. A composite score was used to rank the states based upon a weighted average of the per-capita incidence rates of reported credit card fraud and identity theft from these three sources.
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“No one thinks credit card fraud or identity theft will happen to them, until it does,” says Shteyn. “Residents in the most at-risk states should take extra precautions in protecting their financial and sensitive information.”
California, Florida, and Michigan are runner up states for identity theft. Furthermore, incidents in California tend to involve larger losses than the national average. The three states that are least at-risk for credit card fraud and identity theft are Iowa, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
For information and to view the full report, visit RewardExpert.com.
steps for prevention
Shred all documents containing sensitive information.
Don’t share your account information with anyone.
Carry only the card you plan on using in case your wallet is stolen.
Compare your receipts to your monthly statements and report fraud right away.
Apply for credit cards that offer the best in fraud prevention.