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<a href="http://i0.wp.com/static.bangordailynews.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/217/files/2015/12/id-theft.jpg?strip=all?ref=inline"><img class="size-large wp-image-2753" src="http://identitytheftsolutiontips.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/44d31_id-theft-600x399.jpg" alt="Sarah Flores, of Sacramento, watches a movie on her laptop while waiting to be picked up at the Davis Amtrak station in February 2011. When it comes to online identity theft, it's a minefield out there. Every day, some cyber crook is devising new ways to sneak into our online accounts and pilfer money, or just our sanity. (Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee/MCT)" width="600" height="399"></a>

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p class=”wp-caption-text”>Sarah Flores, of Sacramento, watches a movie on her laptop while waiting to be picked up at the Davis Amtrak station in February 2011. When it comes to online identity theft, it’s a minefield out there. Every day, some cyber crook is devising new ways to sneak into our online accounts and pilfer money, or just our sanity. (Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

Identity theft and fraud remain problems everywhere, and Maine is no different.

However, in the latest data analysis by the prolific number crunchers at the finance site WalletHub, identity theft and fraud have been less of a threat to Maine residents than folks living in all but two other states.

WalletHub, of course, runs regular data analyses comparing cities and states based on wide ranges of criteria, from public safety to education to sports to health.

The resultant rankings often lack nuance, as they’re based on broad, nationwide statistics, but they provide interesting comparisons of places with that disclaimer in mind.

When it comes to identity theft, the site’s researchers looked primarily at complaints per 100,000 residents, cybercrime related dollar losses per capita, data breaches per 100,000 residents and the rate of credit card fraud in each state.

Maine had the least employment fraud complaints per 100,000 residents in the country, as well as the lowest trackable financial losses due to cybercrime, based on WalletHub’s review.

identity graphic

Overall, only South Dakota and Hawaii were considered better off than Maine in terms of the prevalence of identity theft and fraud.

Washington, D.C., had the worst identity theft rating in the country, based on these figures, followed by Florida, Nevada and California.

It’s worth pointing out that — unlike more physical crimes like assault and murder — identity theft and fraud can be and often is perpetrated remotely through the telephone or Internet.

In that sense, while it’s important to note that Maine has taken steps to combat these crimes, some of these figures can be attributed as much to luck as anything.

It’s hard for police to track down the criminals behind many of these scams, much less determine with any certainty why more people in Michigan are being targeted in telephone fraud schemes than people of Maine, for instance.

Then again, many of these crimes are also committed by family members and friends, too, and in those cases, the efforts of state and local law enforcement can be more effective.

fraud graphic

Also, to be clear, identity theft is notoriously under-reported.

As the BDN’s Christopher Burns wrote in a recent story, just 7 percent of identity theft crimes are believed to be reported, a low figure that represents a decrease from 27 percent in 2006.

But identity theft is under-reported nationwide, too, and so while the numbers used in WalletHub’s research probably don’t show the true depth of the problem, they’re probably at least roughly low by the same percentage in every state.

The one category in WalletHub’s checklist in which Maine scored poorly was in the amount of fraudulent use of government documents or benefits, in which Maine ranked in the bottom half (No. 29) of all states.

View the interactive map below to see how each state ranked overall in WalletHub’s analysis.

Article source: http://hashtagmaine.bangordailynews.com/2015/12/05/statistics/maine-among-the-states-least-vulnerable-to-identity-theft-and-fraud-researchers-say/

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