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The Most Scammed States in America

Scams, Scams Everywhere


If you’ve ever received an e-mail asking for your credit card or Social Security number to claim a prize, you’ve been targeted by a scammer.

Every year, the Federal Trade Commission releases a report on the state of fraud and identity theft in America, tracking instances of identity theft and fraud complaints through the Consumer Sentinel Network, a database used by law enforcement. The most recent report looks at data from 2009, and shows that fraud and identity theft complaints continue to rise. The median amount paid to scammers involved in those complaints was $399. Unsurprisingly, credit cards are involved in 40% of fraud complaints and your plastic is also the leading way you can become an identity theft victim, with 17% of all cases pointing to credit cards as the leak.

MainStreet has gathered up the 10 states that have the highest rate of both fraud complaints and identity theft victims to give you the most-scammed states in the U.S. Be vigilant.

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10th Most-Scammed State: California


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 332.3

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 114.2

Total scam rate: 446.5

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9th Most-Scammed State: Delaware


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 369.3

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 81.9

Total scam rate: 451.2

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

8th Most-Scammed State: Washington


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 376.1

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 77.2

Total scam rate: 453.3

Photo Credit: fddi1

7th Most-Scammed State: Oregon


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 391.7

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 67.5

Total scam rate: 459.2

Photo Credit: Bandita

6th Most-Scammed State: Arizona


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 352.7

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 119.4

Total scam rate: 472.1

Photo Credit: Ken Lund

5th Most-Scammed State: Florida


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 361.9

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 122.3

Total scam rate: 484.2

Photo Credit: Karen Horton

4th Most-Scammed State: Maryland


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 393.6

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 91.8

Total scam rate: 485.4

Photo Credit: Scaramouche!

3rd Most-Scammed State: Colorado


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 412.4

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 95

Total scam rate: 507.4

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2nd Most-Scammed State: Nevada


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 412.9

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 106

Total scam rate: 518.9

Photo Credit: matze_ott

The Most-Scammed State: Washington, D.C.


Fraud complaints (per 100,000 population): 528.8

Identity theft victims (per 100,000 population): 150.4

Total scam rate: 679.2

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon

10 Scams Targeting Seniors

MainStreet pinned down some of the scams and traps the elderly are especially vulnerable to. Here, we round them up in a story on the most popular scams targeting seniors.Photo Credit: Ruth Ellison

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