Kansas ranks #2 in identity theft victims report

Study from IPX1031 shows Kansas has some of the highest complaint rates in the country
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 12:52 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A study from IPX1031 shows Kansas, and a few of the state’s cities, have some of the highest complaint rates in the country.

Using Federal Trade Commission data, the study from IPX1031 shows Kansas has the second-highest rate among the United States.

Kansas has the second most reports in 2021 per 100,000 residents (1,355) just behind Rhode Island. Kansans reported identity theft more than 39,000 times in 2021.

The study reports complaints increased 95% in 2020-2021 compared to 2017-2019.

“That is a massive increase,” said IPX1031 Spokesperson Emily Thornton.

She said people need to be aware of who they’re giving their crucial information to.

“Just know exactly what you’re typing in or who you’re giving your information to. That should go in every aspect of life and not only of course during tax season.”

Tax season is a critical time. She said whether it’s online or in-person, with an accountant or doing it yourself, all of your information is circulating.

“We thought this would be the perfect time to let people know and see those statistics. I mean honestly, how jarring it is looking at pre-pandemic identity theft numbers to now, it’s significantly increased.”

The study measures state data and metro areas.

Four cities rank in the top 10 for most ID theft reports per 100,000 residents -- Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita, and Manhattan.

Lawrence had 1,779 per 100,000 ranking them 2nd most in metro areas. Topeka had 1,548 (3rd), Wichita had 1,378 (4th), and Manhattan had 1,062 (8th).

“I think it’s shocking and I think it should be a note to people across the nation, but then of course then also the people in Kansas that you have to be careful with your identity information. Seeing those four areas listed in the top 10, that’s huge.”

According to the FTC, there were more than 1.4 million reports across the country.

Thornton couldn’t say specifically whether fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic played a role in Kansas’ high ranking.

IPX’s study says categories of identity theft reports include government documents or benefits fraud, credit card fraud, loan or lease fraud, bank fraud, employment or tax-related fraud, and phone or utility fraud. The study also looked at state population based on 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

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