Jaybeau Jones

Jaybeau Jones

When it comes to Massachusetts identity theft, while we are losing at football, we may also be losing at keeping our identity safe. What do I mean?

As you will see below, our state may need to up their game on protecting us from identity fraud.

According to Wallethub:

In recent years, significant data breaches have compromised many Americans’ personal information. U.S. consumers reported losing 30% more money due to fraud last year compared to the previous year, totaling nearly $8.8 million in losses nationwide.

A month doesn’t go by without us seeing local news stories of victims of identity theft, right here in Massachusetts. Recently a family member was called by someone claiming they are from Amazon, asking for personal information to confirm a package delivery. Of course, suspicious, the clever family member asked them to hold to confirm this with AMAZON, and the person abruptly hung up. The family member then DID call Amazon and sure enough, Amazon confirmed that they don’t call for personal data, EVER.

The most vulnerable potential victims are the elderly, who make easy targets.

83 Million Impacted

Recently a company called MOVEit reported a data breach that reportedly impacted 83 million people. The estimated cost was more than $13.7 BILLION dollars.

Risky Identity Theft States

Wallethub is out with their report on what states have the highest and lowest risk of identity theft.  To determine where Americans are most susceptible to fraud and identity theft, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key metrics. The data set ranges from identity theft complaints per capita to the average loss amount due to fraud.

Some tips to avoid identity theft:

-Don’t share your device with others

-Monitor your credit card and back accounts regularly

-Be EXTRA cautious with your personal information

-Ask your bank what kind of protection and alert system they provide

-NEVER, EVER open an email that looks suspicious, or if it’s from someone you don’t know, or are not expecting

-IF the email is from your company, or it looks like it’s from someone you know, but you where not expecting it, DO NOT click on link. Check with the person who sent it first

-Sign up for credit monitoring

When it comes to Massachusetts identity theft, how do we do, against other New England states? The higher the rank, the higher the theft.

  • Connecticut: RANK NUMBER 21

    CT

    Image by Getty Images

    That’s a pretty lighthouse. But what’s not pretty is a pretty HIGH rank for a state that considers it, THE INSURANCE state. Connecticut’s Identity theft rate is actually higher at #16, even higher than New York.

  • Vermont: RANK NUMBER 22

    VT

    Image by Getty Images

    Right under the Nutmeg State, are the green mountains of Vermont. Green being the key word, because it’s identity theft rank is a whopping NUMBER 17.

  • Massachusetts: RANK NUMBER 25

    Image by Getty Images

    According to Wallethub, Massachusetts has the fewest people arrested for fraud per capita, 8.9 times fewer than in Delaware, the state with the most. I reached out to Wallethub to explain that metric further. Does that mean that we have LESS bad guys, or weak crime fighting techniques?

    What is NOT good news is that Massachusetts ranks at NUMBER 3 for “policy” which means we have few laws to protect us. The #1 highest threat state, is D.C. They have a policy rank of NUMBER 1, known for the least laws.

    Wallethub says:

    “One key reason why the District of Columbia is so vulnerable is that it lacks key laws to protect consumers when it comes to things like data disposal, phishing, spyware and more. There’s a bit of irony to the fact that the place where all lawmakers meet hasn’t passed these important laws for its own residents.”

  • Maine: RANK NUMBER 27

    Image by Getty Images

    While Maine is around the halfway point, they still rank almost TOP 10, with “policy,” meaning they too, lack laws to protect us.

  • Rhode Island: RANK NUMBER 50!

    Image by Getty Images

    In New England The Ocean State WINS as the least vulnerable state for identity theft. See full list here. 

    The ONLY state that beats Rhode Island, is number 51 is Kansas.

  • New Hampshire: RANKED 31

    NH

    (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

    New Hampshire comes in NUMBER 2 behind little Rhody as a safer state when it comes to identity theft. Like Massachusetts, NH needs help with better policy.

    They rank 13, tied with Maine.

     

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