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A new report identifies a small number of Central Valley towns with the highest incidence of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission and the US Census Bureau provided the data to Upgraded Points to compile the list by credit rewards program.
The number of data breaches has increased in the US and worldwide. Cybercriminals and hackers continually devise new methods for stealing personal information, making everyone vulnerable to a security breach and a cyber attack. Therefore, identity theft has become increasingly common over the past few years. Data from a few Central Valley towns have been compiled by the Federal Trade Commission and the US Census Bureau to identify the US cities with the highest rates of identity theft.
Identity theft has increased by 300% over the past three years, including new bank account fraud. The second and third most significant increases were in government benefits fraud and securities account identity theft.
Between 2019 and 2022, the Fresno metro, in the San Joaquin Valley, California, saw an increase of 16.5% in identity theft reports, although it experienced a decrease of 4.4% between 2021 and 2022. Regarding identity theft rates, Fresno ranked 74 out of 357 metro areas in the US.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has the highest theft reports per 10,000 residents. According to the study, La Crosse, Wisconsin, had the lowest number of reporters per 10,000 residents, with 7.4 per 10,000. Among the cities listed, Visalia ranked 310 with 11.7 identity theft reports per 10,000 residents, an increase of 14.5% over the past three years and a decrease of 10.4% over the past year. During the past three years, Madera has increased by 35.7%, with 16.9 reports per 10,000 residents, a decrease of nearly 5% in one year. Among the top two hundred cities, Hanford ranked 236 with 15.1 reporters per 10,000 residents, an increase of 52.6% in three years and a decrease of 16.5% in one year.
Although identity theft occurs throughout the United States, certain regions are more prone to fraud than others. There has been a significant increase in the number of identity thefts in southern states, and major metropolitan areas in the south – including Miami (87.3%), Atlanta (75.2%), and Houston (63%) – also rank in the top five in the number of reported identity thefts in the nation. Midwest cities tend to have lower identity theft rates than larger metropolitan areas, with Louisville, Kentucky (16.1%), Grand Rapids, Michigan (15.6%), and Minneapolis, Minnesota (15.2%) ranking high in that regard.