Identity theft and Connecticut seem to go hand-in-hand, according to a new analysis of the prevalence of identity theft across the country. Connecticut ranked among the most vulnerable, at number 10 for identity theft and fraud and number 7 in identity theft complaints per capita. The credit-monitoring site WalletHub released a study this month identifying the states most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Analysts compared data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics, ranging from identity theft complaints per capita to average amount lost due to fraud.
"Connecticut ranked #2 when it comes to Identity Theft in particular. It has the 2nd highest combined rate of identity theft complaints per capita and amount of losses per complaint (in dollars), WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez told CT by the Numbers. The data sets for the study included identity-theft complaints per capita and average loss amount due to fraud.
The most vulnerable top 10: California, Rhode island, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, New York, and Connecticut.
WalletHub noted that according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report, 2017 is on track to register the highest number of data breaches since the center began tracking them in 2005. Major data breaches this year include Equifax, which potentially impacted more than 145 million Americans.
"The metrics which show truly alarming results in Connecticut's case are Identity Theft Complaints per 100,000 Residents (ranking 7th at 137.90) and Average Loss Amount Due to Online Identity Theft, calculated as the Total Reported Amount Paid / Total Number of Complaints Stating the Amount Stolen (ranking 5th at $12,174.48),” Gonzalez said.
A breakdown of the rankings found that Connecticut was:
- 7th in identity-theft complaints per capita
- 5th in average loss amount due to online identity theft
- 25th in fraud and other complaints per capita
- 23rd in state security-freeze laws for minors’ credit reports
- 24th in compliance with the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production.
The WalletHub analysis included three areas of data: Identity Theft (47.5 points), Fraud (47.5 points) and Policy (5 points).
Among the policy measures, the state ranked tied for first in the Identity Theft Passport program metric.
"Identity Theft Passport programs help victims of identity theft reclaim their identity,” Gonzalez explained. “When presented to a law-enforcement agency, for instance, an “identity-theft passport” allows a victim to prevent his or her arrest for offenses committed by an identity thief."
Data used to create the WalletHub ranking were collected from the Federal Trade Commission, Internet Crime Complaint Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and National Conference of State Legislatures.