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Report finds identity theft is up 268% in Pennsylvania | FOX43 Finds Out

There have been more than 27,000 reports of identity theft in Pennsylvania since the start of the year. FOX43 Finds Out simple ways you can protect yourself.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As you soak up all that summer has to offer, someone else may be trying to do the same thing while using your identity.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 27,000 Pennsylvanians filed identity theft reports since the start of the year. That's one of the highest case counts in the nation. 

QuoteWizard found identity theft reports in the commonwealth are up 268% since 2019.

Why is it so bad here?

"It just seems like Pennsylvania has been a target of this because we don't really see a pattern as to why one state has had a larger number than the other ones," said Nick VinZant, a senior analyst for QuoteWizard.

VinZant said the numbers show a large increase in credit card, bank and government document theft reports, adding "It started as soon as the pandemic really began and as soon as stimulus payments and other relief efforts started to move forward. that is something the criminals took advantage of and there was so much more opportunity for it."

The prime targets for identity theft now are the people making and saving the most money.

"Between 30 and 54 that are now the primary victims of identity theft fraud and that is directly related to bank fraud and credit card fraud," said VinZant.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Check your credit report. You should do this at least once a year anyway, just to make sure nothing seems out of place.

Be sure to change passwords for your bank and credit card apps at least once a year.

There is a bit of good news. Since identity theft is more common, it's easier to remedy if it does happen to you.

The U.S. Department of Justice found that half of all identity theft victims recently surveyed, took a day or less to resolve all the issues related to the crime. 

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com. 

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