You hear it on both television and radio, and you think it could never happen to you. Then it does.

Identity theft has become a growing concern across the country thanks, in part, to big data breaches compromising much of our personal information.

WalletHub posted its list of "2022's States most vulnerable to identity theft and tax fraud."

So far this year, the average data breach in the U.S. cost $9.44 million and took 277 days to identify and contain. Several big companies and organizations were impacted, including Microsoft, Cash App, and the Red Cross.

picture- Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Unsplash
picture- Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Unsplash

There are several ways scammers can get your identity.

During this holiday season, be careful of the "12 scams of Christmas." As Big Joe Henry points out, "New Jersey rates high with online shopping scams."

But where do we come in as far as identity theft across the nation? According to WalletHub, right near the middle at 22nd.

In order to determine where American consumers are most vulnerable to theft and fraud, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Identity Theft, 2) Fraud, and 3) Policy.

WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 14 key metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most vulnerable.

1. Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita

2. Change in Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita (2020 vs. 2021)

3. Average Loss Amount Due to Online Identity Theft

4. Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita

5. Change in Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita

6. Median Loss Amount Due to Fraud

7. Persons Arrested for Fraud per Capita

photo- Michael Geiger, Unsplash, Canva, Townsquare Media
photo- Michael Geiger, Unsplash, Canva, Townsquare Media

8. E-Commerce Attack Rates

9. Availability of Security-Freeze Law for Minors' Credit Reports

10. Availability of Identity-Theft Passport Program

11. Data Disposal Laws by State

12. Presence of State Laws Addressing "Phishing"

13. Presence of State Spyware Laws

14. Presence of Statewide Cybersecurity Task Forces

Finally, we determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

New Jersey came in 22nd with a total score of 49.66. We came in 20th for identity theft and 27th for fraud, for the policy we came in with a 3.

As for our neighbors, Pennsylvania came in 6th with a total score of 59,68 and New York came in 10th with a total score of 56.07.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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