Identity theft is on the rise — but it’s most common in three Southern states: Louisiana, Georgia and Florida, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.
In 2022, more than 500 people for every 100,000 were victims of the crime, with credit card fraud being the most common form of identity theft. This involves scammers using someone’s personal information to steal from a credit card account or to open a new line of credit in the individual’s name.
Alabama’s largest college city, Tuscaloosa, was the No. 1 metro area in the country for identity fraud, with more than 1,000 victims for every 100,000 residents.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was No. 2, with 947 victims for every 8,347 people, followed by the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach areas of South Florida with 868 affected for every 53,201 individuals there.
There were a shocking 441,822 reports of identity theft nationwide last year.
Millennials appeared to be most at risk, with individuals from the ages of 30 to 39 comprising 25% of all US victims, according to the data.
Americans 80 and older reported the least amount of fraud.
After credit card fraud, the second most common category of scams were those involving online shopping and payment accounts, social media and emails, according to the FTC report.
Criminals also found a way to get money through employment, taxes, benefits, loans, utilities and phone calls.
The FTC suggests Americans protect themselves from identity theft by keeping paper financial records including Social Security, Medicare cards and other personal documents in a private space.
Those logging into an online account should use a strong password and add multifactor authentication to accounts that offer that option (an extra security measure that requires two or more credentials to log into an account), according to the FTC.
The agency also urges Americans to beware scammers calling, texting or emailing to ask about personal information.
The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)