ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – McAfee analyzed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data to uncover the latest facts and trends for identity theft in the United States. New York ranked the eighth highest state per capita for identify theft according to the study.

The number of identity theft cases reported to the FTC has increased over the last five years. According to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report, the number of reported cases more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. 

There are different types of identity theft, ranging from compromised health care data to credit card information being stolen. The five most common types of identity theft are financial, medical, criminal, synthetic, and child, according to McAfee.

Most common types of identity theft

  • Financial identity theft: This form of identity theft involves someone stealing your financial information. For instance, your credit card number can be stolen and used to make a purchase.  
  • Medical identity theft: With medical identity theft, someone steals your personal information to obtain health care services. For example, someone else uses your identity to obtain prescription drugs. 
  • Criminal identity theft: This form of identity theft occurs when someone else uses your name when arrested. You’ll know this has happened to you if you receive a court summons, for instance, that you had no involvement with. 
  • Synthetic identity theft: This form of identity theft is when someone creates a fake identity using someone’s real information. For instance, an imposter might create a fake identity using someone else’s real birthdate and Social Security number to apply for a loan. 
  • Child identity theft: With child identity theft, a person uses a minor’s personal information to commit bank fraud or another form of identity theft.

Identity theft has become increasingly more common in the United States over the past five years due to internet usage and access. Social media platforms, businesses, banking companies, and many other online sites can be hacked by scammers who try to steal people’s personal information.  

Top 10 states with the highest identity theft rates

StateNumber of reports per 100,000 residents
Rhode Island2,857
New York563

Top 10 states with the lowest identity theft rates

State Number of reports per 100,000 residents
South Dakota76
North Dakota131
West Virginia159

What to do if you believe you’re a victim of identity theft

  • Be on the lookout: To avoid identity theft, you’ll want to be alert for signs that someone has stolen your identity. Check your bank statement and credit report regularly to ensure no extra charges to your account. Pay attention to red flags like bills that arrive at your home with your information but someone else’s name, mysterious calls from debt collectors, or emails from new accounts for online services you don’t remember starting.  
  • Reach out to local law enforcement: Some banks may make you show them a police report before they reimburse you for any fraudulent charges or withdrawals. 
  • Contact the company where your ID is being used: Let the businesses where your information is being used know what’s happened.
  • Get in touch with the three big credit bureaus: Call or message TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian right away. They may be able to diminish the impact an identity thief has on your credit score.  
  • File a report with the FTC: Reporting identity fraud to the FTC can help spread awareness of scams and identity theft tactics so others don’t fall victim to them.  
  • Visit the Identity Theft Resource Center: The ITRC has tools and information to help you protect yourself against identity theft and recover from it.