TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Of all 50 states, Florida is the sixth least safe for residents when it comes to identity theft crimes, according to a new report from U.S. News. The report ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia for identity theft levels over three years, with a comparison of frequency to overall fraud.
While U.S. News reported, “Georgia stood out as the least safe state for identity theft,” Florida ranked sixth, partly as a result of having “the second-highest level of identity theft cases in 2019 before improving slightly in 2021.”
The top 10 states were:
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
According to the U.S. News report’s methodology, the analysis was based on identity theft reports per 100,000 people between 2019 to 2021, how many “total frauds” were reported due to identity theft, which states had dedicated privacy laws, and which states had identity theft passport laws. Some of the data U.S. News relied upon for their study came from a combination of data from the Federal Trade Commission and non-profit partner Identity Theft Resource Center.
The ITRC will release new statistics on data compromises Wednesday, called the Annual Data Breach Report. According to the center, it’s released as part of Data Privacy Week, running from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28. The report itself will focus on data for 2022.
As U.S. News’ ranking focused on 2019 to 2021, data came in part from the previous annual report. The 2021 report said “there were more data compromises reported in the United States of American than in any year since the first state data breach notice law” was enacted in 2003.
The ITRC reported data compromises in 2021 were 68% higher in 2020, and 23% higher than a previous record.
“The overall number of data compromises (1,862) is up 68 percent over 2020; the new record number of data compromises is 23 percent over the previous all-time high (1,506),” ITRC said in the 2021 annual report. The only sector where data compromises did not increase, according to ITRC, was the military sector.
Instead, the manufacturing and utilities sector had a 217% increase of data compromises or breaches in 2021. Breaches include ransomware attacks, supply chain attacks, and other cyberattack related data compromises, such as malware or phishing, according to the report. It also reported that breach notices are losing their transparency.
“The lack of actionable information in breach notices prevents consumers from effectively judging the risks they face of identity misuse and taking the appropriate actions to protect themselves.”
FTC data from the Consumer Sentinel Network reported that in 2021, Florida fraud losses totaled $331.3 million. The median loss amount for Floridians who were victims of identity theft and other types of fraud was $532 per person. 25% of Floridians who were victims of identity theft or fraud reported losing money, according to the 2021 report.
Overall, Florida’s top types of identity theft were:
- Credit Card Fraud
- Other Identity Theft
- Loan or Lease Fraud
- Government Documents or Benefits Fraud
- Bank Fraud
The most recent quarterly data for 2022, focused on third quarter breaches, found that while data compromises were up from the first half of 2022, it was “unlikely” that the overall number would make it a record high.
However, Q3 data breaches were still up 15% compared to the previous three months. The number of victims of data breaches also “jumped dramatically” by 210%, while supply chain attacks rose even higher at 250%, according to the Q3 data.
ITRC said that even though 2022 would likely not be a record year for breaches, it was still expected to have a higher number of compromises than previous years.
“Absent a dramatic increase in data compromises in Q4 2022, it is unlikely the total number of data breaches will set a record this year,” ITRC reported. “The total number of data compromises will likely surpass the penultimate record from 2017 of 1,506 compromises.”