News & Resources

Identity theft higher in southern states

Oct 28, 2012 Dave King

Identity theft and other crimes account for hundreds of billions of dollars lost from businesses, the government and households every year. While law enforcement and federal regulators increase efforts to reduce the threat of these crimes, businesses are tasked with ensuring the proper storage, transfer and disposal of all personal and banking information. Some states have been affected by identity theft more than others, while criminals seem to be succeeding in stealing more financial information and money from victims every year. Some estimates have even asserted that identity theft and other similar crimes comprise more than $1 trillion in losses in the United States every year. States with worst identity theft records
Investing Answers recently listed the five states with the highest rates of identity theft, all of which being in the southern regions. According to the news provider, while North and South Dakota have the best track records with ID verification, Florida has the highest rate of identity theft-related crimes. Further, the source noted that Georgia, California, Arizona and Texas were the next four states with the highest number of identity theft complaints. Employment-related and credit card fraud were among the biggest causes of identity theft in these states and across the country, Investing Answers noted. The northern states fared the best, with Montana, Maine, North Dakota and South Dakota having the lowest annual rates, while the news provider said that this massive regional difference is likely the result of the varying demographics. Former military members and the elderly, who account for large portions of the southern populations, are among the most frequently targeted by identity thieves. Protecting employees and customers
Businesses can mitigate the risks of identity theft through the use of reputable and consistent ID verification practices. As many cases go unnoticed for years on end, business owners need to ensure that they are keeping a close eye on accounts payable and receivable, while also building and enforcing internal identity theft prevention policies. As criminals expand their methods of successfully stealing personal and banking information every year, businesses must also create more agile and comprehensive security measures to face the threats. By being responsible with personal and financial information, businesses can minimize the financial risks associated with stolen customer and employee data.