California Leads the Country in ID Theft
June 7, 2012
Jackie here, with AllClear ID. The IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) recently released their 2011 Internet Crime Report. According to the report and an article in the Sacramento Bee, California led the entire nation in identity theft during 2011. There were 34,169 reports of id theft across the state. The IC3 processed 314,246 id theft complaints total during the year, a 3.4% increase from 2010 (or an average of more than 26,000 complaints per month).
The simple fact that California had the highest levels of ID theft in 2011 might seem scary for California residents, but when you put things in perspective, id theft risk is a real problem for everyone, no matter their state. California has the largest population in the United States and although they had the most complaints, they did not have the highest level of complaints per capita. Based on complaints per 100,000 in population, the Golden State ranked #13. The highest per capita levels of id theft reports occurred in Alaska, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Nevada and Colorado.
The IC3 is a coalition between the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NWCCC). If you come across a suspicious email or a fraudulent website or if you fall victim to ID theft, head on over to the IC3 website and report it. These reports help law enforcement to work together to find and prosecute identity criminals.
Whether you live in Alaska, California or somewhere else, id theft is a real problem and isn’t likely to be going away anytime soon. In the press report announcing the release of the 2011 report, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division Michael Welch said, “Internet crime is a growing problem that affects computer users around the world and causes significant financial losses.” No matter your state, you need to be proactive and on the lookout for signs of id theft.