Last week a list of 10 most scammed states was released, and Colorado ranks #3. The statistics, based on information from the Federal Trade Commission. According to their report, Coloradans receive more scam invitations via email, mail and phone than most other states. Add to this the number of new victims thanks to all of our information sharing on social networking sites like Facebook, and identity theft becomes relatively easy.
Here are the rankings for the top 10 states: 1. Washington D.C., 2. Nevada, 3. Colorado, 4. Maryland, 5. Florida, 6. Arizona, 7. Oregon, 8. Washington, 9. Delaware, 10. California
While many people think of scams that affect their pocket book directly, most thieves want to steal an entire identity from their victims. They are looking for as many pieces of personal information as possible, including: full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, mothers maiden name and passwords. This type of information allows them to use your identity to take out loans and purchase houses, not just wipe out your savings account or spend a bit on your credit cards.
The study found 412.4 fraud complaints and 95 identity theft victims for every 100,000 Coloradans. Some other Identity Theft Statistics include:
- Identity Theft counts for 21% of all fraud cases, followed by Third Party Creditor and Debt Collection Scams.
- 40% of fraud complaints were from credit cards while 21% were from wire transfers.
- 48% of network fraud complaints came via email.
- 25% of victims were between the ages of 40-49.
- There were a total of 25,497 victims in Colorado and 25% of those complaints were regarding employment fraud.
- 62% of victims notified the police department regarding the fraud. This means that victims are starting to take charge of their identities and that the awareness level on this topic is increasing.
There are several ways to monitor your identity to minimize the chances you are a victim of identity theft:
- Check your bank, brokerage and credit card statements regularly.
- Set up automatic account alerts (banks, credit cards, brokerages) so that you are notified anytime a transaction occurs on your account (allowing you to catch fraudulent transactions quickly).
- Monitor your credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com once every 3 months. Make sure that every loan, account and credit card on your report is legitimate. The next time you check your credit report, make sure nothing fraudulent has been added.
- Sign up for a sophisticated identity monitoring service.
John Sileo is the award-winning author of the identity theft prevention book Privacy Means Profit and speaks on information control, identity theft prevention and data breach avoidance. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.