Fraud and Identity Theft: Cities and States Hit Hardest by Scams
From bustling city streets to serene rural landscapes, fraud and identity theft are shadows that loom over every corner of the U.S. In fact, our recent survey discovered 55% of Americans report being victims of various scams and 1 in 3 have been victims of identity theft.
Identity theft is defined as the fraudulent use of a person’s private identifying information including financial information. This can happen through credit cards, bank fraud, and employment or tax-related fraud. Fraud categories include imposter scams, online shopping, business and job scams, investment-related scams, and telephone scams.
While everyone is susceptible to fraud, some parts of the country are dealing with it more than others. Following our 2022 report, we were interested in seeing how fraud and identity theft are spreading through American communities. We recently analyzed new data from the Federal Trade Commission to find the states and cities being hit the hardest by scammers.
States Most Impacted by Fraud and Identity Theft
When it comes to the states most impacted by fraud and identity theft, Georgia takes the #1 spot. The Peach State had 1,599 reports of fraud and identity theft per 100,000 people in 2022. Coming in at number 2 is Delaware with 1,581 reports, followed by Nevada with 1,516 instances.
Rounding out the top 5 for states with the most fraud and identity theft reports are Florida and Maryland.
The states with the least amount of reports of fraud in 2022 include North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
U.S. Cities Hit Hardest by Fraud and Identity Theft
Among the more than 380 metropolitan areas across the U.S., Tuscaloosa, Alabama ranks #1 for the most fraud reports and the most identity theft reports. After Tuscaloosa, the cities with the most identity theft reports include Baton Rouge, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Lafayette, Louisiana, and Atlanta.
Atlanta ranks second for fraud reports, followed by Sarasota-Bradenton in Florida, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia.
Top 5 Fraud Categories in the U.S.
While there are many different types of scams, certain ones are impacting Americans more than others. The number one fraud category in the country is imposter scams. An imposter scam is when someone pretends to be a trusted person to get consumers to send money or share personal information. In 2022, there were 761,660 reports of imposter scams and more than $2.7 billion lost.
The second most common fraud category is online shopping and negative reviews. This type of fraud can include undisclosed costs, failing to deliver on time, and refusing to honor a guarantee on purchases made online. In 2022, more than 359,000 reports and more than $358 million was lost to online shopping scams. The third most common fraud category is prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries. This type of scam includes promotions for “free” prizes for a fee and foreign lotteries or sweepstakes offered online or by phone. Internet services and investment related scams ranked 4th and 5th respectively.
Investment Scams by State
Investment scams can include a variety of things including day-trading, gold, art, and even advice or seminars. The states hit hardest by investment scams include Nevada, California, Washington, Florida, and Hawaii. In 2022, there were 325.7 reports per million of investment scam fraud.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2022 more than $3.913 billion dollars were lost to investment scams. The top payment method was cryptocurrency and the number one way scammers were contacting consumers was through social media.
States Most Impacted by Tax Scams
Tax preparer scams are also something consumers need to be on the lookout for. Tax preparer scams can include intentionally falsifying information on a tax return, skimming tax refunds, charging inflated fees, or impersonating tax preparers. The states most impacted by tax preparer scams are Delaware, Nevada, Georgia, Maryland, and Mississippi.
Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. (IPX1031) is the nation’s largest and most secure 1031 Qualified Intermediary. In ongoing efforts to protect clients’ 1031 investment property funds, IPX1031 urges consumers to take the necessary steps to protect their personal information online. Learn more about IPX1031’s industry leading security and safety for exchangers and safeguards when selling and buying investment properties.
2022 data on the states and cities with the most fraud and identity theft reports, top fraud categories in the U.S., investment scams by state, and tax preparer scams by state is from the Federal Trade Commission.
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