CARTHAGE, MO.--- Identity theft takes a big bite out of the economy, $21 billion in 2013 alone. Statistics point to younger victims as seeing the highest levels of identity theft. Credit card information is the top target by far, involved in 64% of cases. The younger the consumer, the higher the number of fraud complaints. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 18 to 24 year old's saw the biggest rate of identity theft. The Carthage police chief says that could be connected to their increasing use of technology.
"Anytime you increase your use of the internet, social media, pay less with cash- those kinds of things - you do increase your risk of identity theft," said Chief Greg Dagnan, Carthage Police Chief.
The good news is that consumers in the Four States are safer than in others. The top five includes Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and Nevada. It's 11 and a half million victims a year. To put that number in perspective, it averages out to a new identity theft victim every two seconds.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.