identity protection

States of deception: The 9 states with the highest rates of identity theft

The 9 worst states for identity theft © Bigstock

New Hampshire © edella/

No. 9: New Hampshire

ID theft complaints (2015): 1,890

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 142
  • Previous rank: No. 41

ID theft fact: Nearly 4 out of 10 people who filed identity theft complaints with the government and watchdog groups in 2015 said that they also contacted police. Of those who went to law enforcement, 89% said that a report was taken by officers.

Texas © RoschetzkyProductions/

No. 8: Texas

ID theft complaints (2015): 39,630

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 144.3
  • Previous rank: No. 10

ID theft fact: More than 490,000 identity theft complaints were received by the Consumer Sentinel Network in 2015, up nearly 76% from the number collected 5 years earlier.

Georgia |

No. 7: Georgia

ID theft complaints (2015): 15,230

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 149.1
  • Previous rank: No. 5

ID theft fact: Identity theft is the top consumer complaint among U.S. military enlisted personnel and officers. The Consumer Sentinel Network received nearly 33,000 ID theft complaints in 2015 from members of the military. In more than half those cases, victims said personal information was stolen to commit fraud involving government documents or benefits.

Michigan © Shriram Patki/

No. 6: Michigan

ID theft complaints (2015): 15,684

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 158.1
  • Previous rank: No. 6

ID theft fact: In 2015, 65% of identity theft complaints came from consumers age 40 or older, while 35% came from those under 40. People in their 50s made nearly a quarter of all complaints.

Illinois © elesi/

No. 5: Illinois

ID theft complaints (2015): 20,414

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 158.7
  • Previous rank: No. 12

ID theft fact: The Consumer Sentinel Network says stolen information was used for tax- or wage-related fraud in 45.3% of identity theft cases reported last year, up from 30.1% in 2013.

Maryland © f11photo/

No. 4: Maryland

ID theft complaints (2015): 11,006

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 183.2
  • Previous rank: No. 10

ID theft fact: Identity thieves misuse victims' information in numerous ways beyond fraud associated with taxes and wages. In 2015, government documents or benefits fraud was alleged in 49.2% of identity theft cases, compared with 38.7% in 2014. But credit card fraud related to ID theft slid from 17.4% of complaints in 2014 to 15.8% in 2015.

Florida © pisaphotography/

No. 3: Florida

ID theft complaints (2015): 44,063

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 217.4
  • Previous rank: No. 1

ID theft fact: While Florida ranks third for identity theft complaints per capita, it's the No. 1 state for fraud and other broader types of consumer complaints, followed by Georgia and Michigan. Homosassa Springs, Florida, north of Tampa, is the top U.S. metro area for fraud and related complaints.

Connecticut © Sean Pavone/

No. 2: Connecticut

ID theft complaints (2015): 8,078

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 225
  • Previous rank: No. 14

ID theft fact: Identity theft was at the core of 16% of consumer complaints made to government agencies and private watchdog groups in 2015, up from 13% in 2014. More general fraud was behind 44% of last year's complaints, the Consumer Sentinel Network says.

Missouri | grichenko

No. 1: Missouri

ID theft complaints (2015): 22,164

  • Complaints per 100,000 residents: 364.3
  • Previous rank: No. 4

ID theft fact: Not only is Missouri the state with the highest rate of identity-theft complaints, St. Louis is the top metro area for this crime. It's followed by: California-Lexington Park, Maryland; and the vast South Florida metro area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.


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