Life Coach Magazine

Five States With High Identity Theft

By Djridings @fivethingsnow

Arguably, identity theft could be the most feared crime in the United States. Specifically, it involves thieves stealing things like credit and debit card numbers, social security numbers and other important documents and then using them for their own benefit. Potentially, victims of identity theft could lose their life savings and much, much more – it’s that serious. Banks and credit unions are taking increased security measures to ensure that you – the member – don’t become another statistic, but thieves seem to be staying up with the game as well. This should be kept in mind for the next trip you are on.  You may want to plan your backpacking destinations carefully, especially if you are looking to have a carefree trip.

Here’s a look at the top five U.S. states where identity theft is the most common. We’ll also dish on how to avoid becoming a statistic, even if you’re just staying in the state for the night.

1. Colorado

Identity theft is rampant in Colorado, specifically in highly populated areas such as Boulder County. To stay safe in these areas, consider a professional identity theft protection service, such as LifeLock. It could be the peace of mind that you’re looking for, whether you’re a resident of the area or just backpacking through.

2. Nevada

When the recession hit, so did Nevada’s home values. Home values declined by a whooping 60 percent in the economic downturn, leading to a cause and effect relationship in terms of thievery. But Nevada isn’t just some remote location on the map – it’s a tourism hotbed, especially Las Vegas and Reno, where the streets are highly trafficked and thousands of people may be within a few miles at one time. Stay safe in Nevada by guarding your smart phone. Smart phones – we all have them, but the phones of today are more like mini computers rather than just, well, phones. Chances are you have personal information on your phone. Be careful with your phone and consider putting a security lock on it that only you know in case it falls into the wrong hands. Also, consider carrying your wallet in your front pocket or secured tightly in your backpack while on the Las Vegas strip to guard against pick-pocketers.

3. Florida

Florida takes number three when it comes to the number of people that have been impacted by identity theft. While some of this is likely due to the state’s large senior citizen population, Florida is also an often-visited state for it’s lush beaches, amusement parks and all-around nice weather conditions – so don’t think that you’re immune from such problems. To stay safe, make sure you keep an eye on any items you bring down to the beach on your trip and consider bringing as few personal items as possible. You may also want to hide things that you don’t bring down to the beach, such as wallets and cell phones so they’re not in plain sight.

4. Maryland

Traveling to another coastal state? Consider leaving your credit cards at home and bringing only cash or traveler’s checks. This way, you’re not at risk of having your credit cards stolen and somebody draining your account or boosting your bills.

5. Delaware

When you’re out and about in Delaware, another state that has been hit particularly hard with the identity theft bug, leave your laptop at home. But if you must bring it, only connect to wireless Internet that is trustworthy. Failure to do so could lead to hacking on your computer, in which thieves could uncover personal information. This could partially ruin your entire backpacking adventure if a laptop or mobile device is stolen.

While preparing for your trek around the states, trail mix, water bottles and emergency supplies are definitely essentials.  However, don’t forget that protection of your belongings and your identity is nearly as important as your survival!


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