Guest Post: Kansas & Rhode Island Suffered The Most Identity Thefts In 2020 Says Atlas VPN

Fraudsters did not hesitate to use the pandemic panic to claim unemployment insurance instead of the ones that needed it the most, and some states were not prepared at all.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, Kansas and Rhode Island states experienced the most identity thefts in 2020. The majority of the thefts were being used to apply or receive government benefits such as stimulus checks or unemployment compensation.

The most targeted State by scammers in the US was Kansas, as there were 1,485 identity theft reports per 100,000 population. The second most identity thefts were reported in Rhode Island, with a total of 1,191 cases. Illinois ranks third with 1,073 impersonation reports.

According to cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN Anton Petrov: 

“As long as such security loopholes that enable criminals to benefit from stolen identities exist, consumers should take extra care and educate themselves on the risks. Reviewing your bank and credit card statements regularly or even freezing your credit can help lower the damages in case your identity gets stolen by criminals.”

Identity theft types

There are plenty of different types of fraudulent crimes that scammers did with stolen identities in the US. 

By no surprise, government benefits, including unemployment compensation and stimulus check frauds, made up 32% of all reports. Such scams happen when criminals use stolen identities to collect benefits across multiple states fraudulently. 

The second most reported identity thefts were credit card fraud — new accounts with 30% of all reports.

Miscellaneous identity theft was the third most reported type. It constituted 23% of all identity theft reports in 2020. This category includes online shopping, payment account fraud, email, and social media fraud, medical services, insurance, securities account fraud, and other types of identity theft.

Next up, we have business or personal loan fraud that made up 8% of all identity thefts in 2020. The least — 7% of identity thefts were tax fraud.

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