The 25 States with the Most Credit Card Fraud

states-with-most-credit-card-fraud

 

Credit card fraud is at an all-time high. That’s according to the Federal Trade Commission’s latest Consumer Sentinel Data Book, which tracks and summarizes consumer complaints about fraud, identity theft, and other consumer concerns. In 2017, there were 133,015 reports of credit card fraud across the United States—nearly a 7 percent increase over the year prior. This trend corresponds with a simultaneous sharp rise in data breaches where personal information was compromised. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 2017 represented an all-time high of 1,579 data breaches—a nearly 48 percent increase over 2016’s 1,091.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines credit card fraud as the “unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or similar payment tool (ACH, EFT, recurring charge, etc.), to fraudulently obtain money or property.” Interestingly, the Federal Trade Commission categorizes credit card fraud as a type of identity theft, since it can only be accomplished by stealing credit card numbers, usually by means of an identity theft scheme.

Based on the FTC categorization, credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft. However, its  instances aren’t dispersed evenly across the United States. To determine which states’ residents are most likely to be victims of credit card fraud, researchers at Credit Sesame, a credit score and financial management platform, combined data from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Data Book and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. It’s researchers found that there is no single statistic that appears to fully explain differences between states for credit card fraud. However, the analysis revealed a number of trends that help explain which states might be targeted over others. Here’s what they found.

Takeaways

 

  • The risk to individuals isn’t spread evenly across states. Instances of credit card fraud range from a low of 17 per 100,000 residents in Mississippi to a high of 81 per 100,000 residents in Washington D.C. The average across all states is just under 33 per 100,000 residents.
  • There is a slight positive correlation between median household income and instances of credit card fraud per 100,000 residents. This suggests that higher-income states are potentially more attractive to scammers, representing a better chance of “striking gold.”
  • Median household income is also positively correlated with the percentage of identity theft cases that are credit card fraud. In other words, credit card fraud appears to be occurring more frequently relative to other types of identity theft in higher-income states. This again might be due to the high payout attached to a successful scheme on a wealthy resident. This trend could also be explained by lower credit card approval rates in states with higher levels of poverty.
  • Higher levels of poverty also correspond to lower rates of credit card fraud. This may be attributable to lower credit card approval rates, ownership, and credit limits in less wealthy states.

The following are the 25 states with the most credit card fraud. Full results of the study can be found on Credit Sesame.

 

Photo Credit: William Scott / Alamy Stock Photo

25. New Mexico

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 31 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 95 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 34%
  • Household median income: $46,748
  • Percent below poverty level: 19.8%

Photo Credit: Steven Frame / Alamy Stock Photo

24. New Hampshire

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 32 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 83 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 39%
  • Household median income: $70,936
  • Percent below poverty level: 7.3%

Photo Credit: Susan Montgomery / Alamy Stock Photo

23. Michigan

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 33 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 150 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 22%
  • Household median income: $52,492
  • Percent below poverty level: 15%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

22. North Carolina

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 34 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 93 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 37%
  • Household median income: $50,584
  • Percent below poverty level: 15.4%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

21. Virginia

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 35 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 91 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 39%
  • Household median income: $68,114
  • Percent below poverty level: 11%

Photo Credit: Steve Lee / Alamy Stock Photo

20. Minnesota

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 36 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 80 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 46%
  • Household median income: $65,599
  • Percent below poverty level: 9.9%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

19. Massachusetts

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 36 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 90 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 41%
  • Household median income: $75,297
  • Percent below poverty level: 10.4%

Photo Credit: Nadia Yong / Alamy Stock Photo

18. Oregon

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 36 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 91 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 40%
  • Household median income: $57,532
  • Percent below poverty level: 13.3%

Photo Credit: Andrew Zarivny / Alamy Stock Photo

17. Arizona

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 37 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 119 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 31%
  • Household median income: $53,558
  • Percent below poverty level: 16.4%

Photo Credit: Paul Brady / Alamy Stock Photo

16. Colorado

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 38 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 109 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 35%
  • Household median income: $65,685
  • Percent below poverty level: 11%

Photo Credit: Jon Bilous / Alamy Stock Photo

15. Delaware

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 38 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 129 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 30%
  • Household median income: $61,757
  • Percent below poverty level: 11.7%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

14. Rhode Island

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 38 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 124 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 31%
  • Household median income: $60,596
  • Percent below poverty level: 12.8%

Photo Credit: Bryan Mullennix / Alamy Stock Photo

13. Texas

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 39 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 122 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 33%
  • Household median income: $56,565
  • Percent below poverty level: 15.6%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

12. New York

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 41 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 105 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 40%
  • Household median income: $62,909
  • Percent below poverty level: 14.7%

Photo Credit: Christian Hinkle / Alamy Stock Photo

11. Pennsylvania

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 41 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 101 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 42%
  • Household median income: $56,907
  • Percent below poverty level: 12.9%

Photo Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

10. Georgia

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 43 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 126 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 36%
  • Household median income: $53,559
  • Percent below poverty level: 16%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

9. Washington

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 44 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 104 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 44%
  • Household median income: $67,106
  • Percent below poverty level: 11.3%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

8. Maryland

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 45 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 132 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 35%
  • Household median income: $78,945
  • Percent below poverty level: 9.7%

Photo Credit: Purestock / Alamy Stock Photo

7. New Jersey

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 46 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 108 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 43%
  • Household median income: $76,126
  • Percent below poverty level: 10.4%

Photo Credit: Dave Newman / Alamy Stock Photo

6. Illinois

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 48 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 130 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 39%
  • Household median income: $60,960
  • Percent below poverty level: 13%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

5. Connecticut

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 49 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 117 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 43%
  • Household median income: $73,433
  • Percent below poverty level: 9.8%

Photo Credit: Visions of America, LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

4. Nevada

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 50 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 147 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 39%
  • Household median income: $55,180
  • Percent below poverty level: 13.8%

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

3. Florida

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 60 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 156 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 40%
  • Household median income: $50,860
  • Percent below poverty level: 14.7%

Photo Credit: Robert Schlie / Alamy Stock Photo

2. California

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 60 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 144 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 43%
  • Household median income: $67,739
  • Percent below poverty level: 14.3%

Photo Credit: Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo

1. District of Columbia

  • Credit card fraud complaints: 82 per 100,000 residents
  • Total identity theft complaints: 199 per 100,000 residents
  • Credit card fraud percent of total ID theft complaints: 42%
  • Household median income: $75,506
  • Percent below poverty level: 18.6%

Methodology

The state-level population statistics are from the American Community Survey 2016’s 1-Year Estimates, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Credit card fraud and identity theft data was provided by the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Data Book 2017. States were ordered by their credit card fraud complaints per 100,000 residents. Only the top 25 states by this field were included of a possible 50, and District of Columbia.

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved.
Published October 9, 2018
Related Links

Leave Your Reply

Submitting comment...