FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — December is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, and Connecticut residents should consider really taking the theme to heart.
On Wednesday, the free credit-monitoring website WalletHub released its "2016's States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud" -- and Connecticut has more identity-theft complaints per person than any other state.
Over 900 data breaches have been reported thus far in 2016. In just the last 30 days, Fairfield County has been in the news twice for incidents potentially tied to identity theft: Primark found credit-card "skimmer" devices and Annie Sez discovered a potential data breach of credit-card information.
To measure the level of susceptibility to such crimes for each state, WalletHub analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia, looking both at how much fraud and identity theft occurs, as well as what policies are in place to address it.
Connecticut ranked 10th overall, as to vulnerability to identity theft and fraud, where coming in first means most vulnerable and 25th is average. Here are WalletHub's other findings about state residents' relative risk:
- 1st -- greatest number of identity-theft complaints per capita
- 1st -- no identity-theft passport program -- This is a program that helps victims of identity theft fix the damage the crime can cause. Connecticut doesn't yet have this program, though 11 states do.
- 12th -- average loss amount due to fraud
- 24th -- number of fraud and other complaints per capita
- 25th – moderate policies regarding state security-freeze laws for minors' credit reports
- 27th -- average loss amount due to online identity theft
Read WalletHub's full report here. The report also includes an identity theft guide, which provides additional tips to prevent this headache in the first place.
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