W.Va. Ranks Among Least Vulnerable to Identity Theft

Beckley Register-Herald, Bluefield Daily Telegraph - West Virginia ranked fourth in states least vulnerable to identify theft, according to a recent survey. Read

The Mountain State ranked low in employment fraud complaints per capita and bank fraud complaints per capita, coming in fourth least in both, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center's Data Breach Report.

Key findings in the survey found:

• In 2015 the most common identity fraud complaint in West Virginia was government documents/benefits fraud. Other types of fraud, including credit card fraud and bank fraud, were reported at a much lower rate than the national average.

• There were just 80 identity theft complaints per 100,000 residents in West Virginia in 2015. This includes 41 government documents/benefits fraud complaints and 11 credit card fraud complaints per 100,000 residents.

The economics of West Virginia may help explain the ranking. Employment fraud could rank low because the state has the lowest civilian workforce population rate and one of the highest jobless benefit claims in the United States.

A large number of West Virginians also do not have either a banking or credit union account. In a 2013 report, The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy found 791 out of every 1,000 West Virginians are either unbanked or underbanked.

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