Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2018

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Report: Nevada is top state for identity theft

Nevada is the top state for people to become the victims of identity theft, according to a report released this week.

Using FBI and Federal Trade Commission data from 2017, personal security website ASecureLife ranked Nevada as the riskiest state for identity theft. The distinction factored in average loss per victim and the number of victims per 100,000 residents.

“If you think about gambling and spending in Nevada, it could be a place thieves look for victims,” company spokeswoman Emily Patterson said. “A lot of protection also is related to better online hygiene practices.”

With the average victim losing $5,964 in Nevada, the state ranked seventh among U.S. states in average dollar amount lost per victim, according to the report.

Its 14.4 victims per 100,000 residents ranked second only to Hawaii, but it’s total identity theft loss per capita was more than double the next closest state.

The three factors combined led publishers to rank Nevada overall as the riskiest state.

The data only covers residents, meaning more than 42 million tourists who visit Las Vegas each year were not included, Patterson said.

Per FBI tracking purposes, if an out-of-state resident is a victim of identity theft, the theft would count toward the statistics in their home state.

To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, Patterson recommended using two-factor authentication systems that require more than just a password to access banking, shopping and other personal accounts. She also advised against connecting to unsecured WiFi networks and recommended exercising caution when providing credit card or social security numbers over the phone.