Georgia fraud, identity theft complaints among highest in nation
MACON, Ga. (WGXA) -- According to the Federal Trade Commission, Georgia ranks among the highest in the country for fraud and identify theft cases.
Georgia is number two in fraud cases with 1,136 per 100,000 people.
The state ranks number eleven in identity theft cases with 124 per 100,000 people.
Debt collection fraud and employment-tax fraud are the top complaint categories in Georgia.
Investigator Michael Parrott with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office said these types of crimes are on the rise as technology evolves.
Parrott said fraud and identity theft occur much too often in Bibb County.
He said Georgia could rank so high on the lists because many people travel through the state, either to the airport or down to Florida on vacation.
Kelvin Collins with the Better Business Bureau said often times identity thieves commit fraud and try to put together pieces of a puzzle to see what personal information they can obtain.
It's not uncommon for some people to steal pieces of mail over time to build up enough information on someone to open credit card accounts in their name.
Collins advises people to only carry credit cards that are needed everyday in wallets. Things like department store credit cards should only be carried when going to that store.
He also suggests to have a copy at home of everything in your wallet. If the wallet is lost or stolen, you'll know what cards to cancel and what to report to authorities.
Parrott said it's nearly impossible to be immune to identity theft and fraud, but keeping personal information like a social security number in a safe place to minimize the risk.