WASHINGTON – The nation’s capital is ranked the most vulnerable place in the country in terms of identity theft and fraud, according to a study from the personal finance website WalletHub.
Researchers looked at all 50 states, and the District, considering factors such as identity-theft and fraud complaints per capita.
“D.C. unfortunately is pretty much No. 1 across the board,” said analyst Jill Gonzalez.
The study showed D.C. had 228 identity theft complaints per 100,000 residents, with an average loss due to online identity theft of $16,629. One of the reasons, researchers say, is a lack of local laws meant to protect residents against fraud.
“I think mainly it’s because the policy really isn’t there to support lower numbers,” said Gonzalez.
Maryland was ranked 15th and Virginia came in at number 19.
To protect yourself against such crimes, researchers recommend using a very secure password for your email account and signing up for credit monitoring.
If you fall victim to identity theft, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission for information on what to do next.