Guess Who Leads The Nation In Identity Theft Reports? (It’s Us)
Well, of course it's Illinois. Would a guy in Rockford, Illinois waste your time with a headline like that, only to reveal that the state that leads the nation in reports of identity theft is Oklahoma? That would be bad form on my part.
Plus, I know that absolutely none of you care about Oklahoma, no matter how hard you try to pretend otherwise.
Everyone In Illinois Is At Risk Of Having Their ID Stolen, But Two Groups Are Targeted More Than Any Other
Experts say that kids are targeted because identity thieves can use a child’s Social Security numbers to establish what's being called a "fraudulent clean slate," and seniors are targeted most often over the telephone and through internet phishing scams because they tend to be more trusting.
Illinois' Members Of The Military Also Have A Target On Their Backs
Those who would steal the I.D. of a member of the United States military try to pull it off while that member of the military is deployed. According to ConsumerReports.com:
While deployed, active-duty members of the armed services are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because they may not notice mistakes on their credit reports or receive calls from debt collectors regarding a fraudulent charge. According to FTC reports, military consumers are most affected by government documents or benefits fraud and credit card fraud.
The WalletHub Analysis Of States Most Vulnerable To I.D. Theft/Fraud Ranks Illinois 6th Worst Overall In The U.S.
Personal-finance website WalletHub also points out in their study that Illinois leads the nation in reports of I.D. theft per capita. WalletHub also found that Illinois had the nation’s worst identify-theft passport program, which is intended to help identity theft victims regain control of their identities, avoid mistaken arrest, and dispute fraudulent credit charges.
IllinoisPolicy.org, in a piece on identity theft, notes that Illinois' unpreparedness for the onslaught of unemployment claims at the start of the pandemic created a huge opportunity for identification thieves:
Illinois found it was woefully unprepared for the deluge, with antiquated computer systems and a botched introduction of a $22 million fix that immediately exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal information of nearly 32,500 claimants. The information was used by identity thieves, according to multiple lawsuits.
Cybersecurity experts estimate the flood of imposter fraud, where criminals file fake claims in the names of real people, likely cost Illinois more than $1 billion.