La. ranks number two in identity theft, according to Federal Trade Commission
WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana is listed high among the states dealing with identity theft.
According to a U.S. News and World Report Identity Theft 2023 survey, the Federal Trade Commission collected more than 1.1 million reports of identity theft. Louisiana is listed as number two in identity theft in 2022 in the FTC’s online 2022 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book - reporting 24,898 cases in the state. Arkansas ranked No. 30 with 5,186 identity theft reports and Mississippi ranked No. 10 - showing 10,260 identity theft reports.
The latest identity theft survey showed that identity fraud may mean financial loss through account takeovers.
Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union’s marketing director, Jessica Wilson, said they’ve seen an increase in identity theft cases.
“So, those range from people trying to steal your private information or just trying to create fraud on your behalf, which, as we all know, causes turmoil for all of us involved,” said Wilson.
In the latest survey, they asked 2,000 U.S. adults to rank a list of events from most to least concerning. The respondents’ biggest concern was a financial account takeover - more so than home break-ins.
KNOE reporter Kenya Ross reached out to law enforcement agencies in northeast Louisiana to gather a number of residential burglaries that occurred in 2022 and in 2023 thus far:
Monroe Police Department
- 2022: 340
- 2023: 232
Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office
- 2022: 440 Simple Burglaries reported
- 2023: 294 Simple Burglaries reported
These numbers include both residential and business burglaries, according to OPSO’s public information officer, Glenn Springfield.
Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office
- 2022 – 53 incidents
- 2023 –16 incidents
These numbers include two (2) criminal charges; Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling and Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, according to LPSO’s Michael Rainwater in the criminal division.
Wilson said there are several ways to protect a financial account takeover.
“Protect your information - your private information. Never share your social security numbers, your account numbers; anything that they can use against you,” said Wilson.
The U.S. News and World Report lists 10 ways to prevent identity theft:
- Collect mail daily
- Review credit card and bank statements regularly
- Freeze your credit
- Create different passwords for your accounts
- Shred documents containing personal information before disposing of them (Ouachita Green is hosting America Recycles Day on Nov. 11, 2023, at the Monroe Civic Center)
- Review credit reports annually
- Install antivirus/software
- Enable two-factor authentication on devices and accounts
- Opt out of prescreened credit card offers
- Wipe electronics before donating
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