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Most Common Scams by State

Debt collection scams and fraudulent robocalls are on the rise in the US, with millions of Americans targeted annually by scam artists. In fact, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data shows there were nearly 2.7 million reports of scams in 2017 alone. In honor of National Safety Month, the team at Your Local Security dug into data published by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network to find each state’s most common scam so you can help protect yourself against an unforeseen attack.

Data Highlights

Residents in the majority of states suffer most from debt collection scams, and residents who live in states with the lowest amount of fraud are typically victims of imposter scams. Identity theft earns a bronze medal, despite a downtrend in 2016. Interestingly, almost no West Coast states made the list for the top 10 states with the highest amount of fraud.

The Top 3 Scams in the US

After reviewing the FTC’s data, take a peek at the three most common scams in America. To find your state’s top scam, check out the table below.

Debt Collection

Debt collection scams involve scammers who call repeatedly, falsely represent the amount or status of your debt, fail to send written notice of debt, falsely threaten a suit, use profane language, fail to identify themselves as debt collectors, and/or violate other provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Imposter Scams

Scammers pose as a trusted person and contact you via email or phone to persuade you to send money or provide personal information. The scammer might claim to work for or be affiliated with a government agency—such as in the case of an IRS scam—be a friend or relative with an emergency need for money, technical support specialist, or even an online romantic interest.

Identity Theft

A scammer steals your personal identifying information (such as your Social Security number or credit card account number) to commit fraud or theft. While still a threat in the US, identity theft decreased by 16.05% in 2016.

Find your state’s most common scam and the most susceptible regions:

State Rank State Name Top Scam   Metropolitan Statistical Areas

with Most Fraud


of Fraud

1 Florida Debt Collection Homosassa Springs, FL 1156
2 Georgia Debt Collection Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 927
3 Nevada Debt Collection Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 657
4 Delaware Debt Collection Dover, DE 609
5 Michigan Debt Collection Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 746
6 Texas Debt Collection Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 773
7 Maryland Debt Collection Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 561
8 Alabama Debt Collection Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL 603
9 South Carolina Debt Collection Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 674
10 Tennessee Debt Collection Memphis, TN-MS-AR 660
11 Arizona Debt Collection Prescott, AZ 770
12 Missouri Debt Collection Kansas City, MO-KS 539
13 Ohio Debt Collection Cleveland-Elyria, OH 581
14 New Mexico Debt Collection Santa Fe, NM 745
15 North Carolina Debt Collection Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 674
16 Louisiana Debt Collection Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 551
17 California Debt Collection Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA 623
18 Colorado Identity theft Colorado Springs, CO 552
19 Virginia Debt Collection Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 487
20 Rhode Island Debt Collection Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 429
21 Pennsylvania Debt Collection Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 561
22 New Jersey Debt Collection Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 561
23 Connecticut Identity theft New Haven-Milford, CT 523
24 Indiana Debt Collection Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 560
25 Washington Imposter Scams Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 646
26 Illinois Identity theft St. Louis, MO-IL 497
27 Mississippi Debt Collection Memphis, TN-MS-AR 660
28 Oregon Imposter Scams Eugene, OR 488
29 New York Identity Theft Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 509
30 New Hampshire Imposter Scams Manchester-Nashua, NH 483
31 Kentucky Debt Collection Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 560
32 Kansas Imposter Scams Topeka, KS 554
33 West Virginia Imposter Scams Charleston, WV 576
34 Massachusetts Debt Collection Barnstable Town, MA 448
35 Arkansas Debt Collection Memphis, TN-MS-AR 660
36 Oklahoma Debt Collection Lawton, OK 472
37 Idaho Imposter Scams Coeur d’Alene, ID 515
38 Montana Imposter Scams Missoula, MT 585
39 Wisconsin Imposter Scams Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 514
40 Minnesota Imposter Scams TIE between Duluth, MN-WI

and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

41 Hawaii Imposter Scams Hilo, HI 434
42 Maine Auto Related Bangor, ME 510
43 Wyoming Imposter Scams Cheyenne, WY 508
44 Utah Imposter Scams Salt Lake City, UT 419
45 Alaska Imposter Scams Anchorage, AK 433
46 Nebraska Imposter Scams Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 445
47 Vermont Imposter Scams Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT 401
48 Iowa Imposter Scams Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 445
49 South Dakota Imposter Scams Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 427
50 North Dakota Identity Theft Fargo, ND-MN 285

Staying Safe: Report the Attack

You can save yourself thousands and help others do the same by being aware of the most common scams and how to recognize scam artists before any damage is done. The best way to bring these scammers to justice and help prevent future attacks is to report the details of the scam and the phone number, website, or email address to your local police department and inform the FTC. For more tips on staying safe from scams, check out 5 Ways to Avoid Dangerous Security Scams.

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