Identity theft affects millions of Americans every year, as stolen personal information can rapidly snowball into thousands of dollars lost and credit scores broken. New research suggests that the volume of identity theft cases continues to grow, despite businesses and regulators stepping up ID verification and other security practices. The Free Times reports that South Carolina now ranks 20th in the country for the most identity theft cases per capita. Citing a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, the source explains that the volume of identity theft cases increased by 15 percent from 2010 to 2011, while the nation experienced a 13 percent increase overall. To combat this, the South Carolina State Treasurer will speak at a public event next week to educate attendees on identity theft, the Free Times added. The source added that the number of identity theft victims in the United States in 2011 was 11.6 million, and those who use smartphones or social media were more susceptible to the crimes. Other state officials have stepped up to deter identity theft in recent months, including Colorado's Secretary of State Scott Gessler, according to the Pagosa Sun. Last month, his office launched an initiative to educate businesses on ID verification best practices.