Illinois residents are more at risk of identity theft and fraud than the majority of other states in the U.S.
Illinois ranked 13th as a state with the most identity theft and fraud complaints and losses, according to a new report by WalletHub.
“This is not one of the lists where you want to be closer to the top,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub. “Nevada here has the most identity theft and fraud. Hawaii ranked last with the least. But, being 13th is certainly not a good number. Illinois should definitely try to be in the bottom half of a ranking like this.”
The state also sees twice as much loss when identity theft does occur. Typically, a consumer loss is around $10,000, and Illinois is doubling these numbers at $20,000 or more.
Illinois ranks so high for cybertheft and fraud because of poor state policies, Gonzalez said.
“Illinois finds itself in an interesting position,” she said. “There really is a lot to be done when it comes to policy. I think that’s the reason it ranks so highly because there is a lot of policy that has been left on the table that has not yet been implemented.”
Illinois consumers can protect themselves by taking measures to ensure their personal information is protected.
“You really need to take it upon yourself to make sure your passwords are secure, and that you’re signing up for two-factor verification for your multiple accounts,” Gonzalez said. “You really need to take this into your own hands, especially with the knowledge that Illinois as a state could be doing better.”
The report from Wallet Hub was designed to help states identify the cybersecurity areas that they could be doing better in. Illinois ranked as the worst state for compliance with the Real ID act as well as with an identity theft passport program.