Chicagoans Are Among Top Targets for Identity Theft

Windy City residents are among the most targeted victims in the country for identity theft, despite Illinois having some of the tightest laws against data fraud in the nation, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The findings were released in July by the National Consumers League, a national, non-profit advocacy group pushing Congress for tighter laws against data fraud and identity theft.

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The group's study focused on data fraud cases in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, the Sun-Times reported. Results included:

  • Identity thieves used the stolen personal information of Chicago residents in 43 percent of the data breaches, the Sun-Times reported. That's compared to 50 percent in Minneapolis, 35 percent in Los Angeles and 31 percent in Miami.
  • In 28 percent of Chicago's reported identity fraud cases, thieves used the information to make in-person purchases. In other words, credit card or debit card numbers were loaded into fraudulent cards to use for buying things or taking out cash, according to the newspaper.
  • In all four cities, the large majority of data fraud victims were also the victims of major data breaches, like the one at Target stores last year. Miami's percentage was the highest, with 82 percent of fraud victims also falling victim to a data breach. In Miami that number was 80 percent; 72 percent in Chicago; and 66 percent in Minneapolis, the Sun-Times reported.

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