FOUR STATE AREA — In a world where it seems everything is done online, the pandemic has only added to the process. We’ve worked from home. Our children have learned from home. Now, while in some ways, it’s been a convenience – it’s also made it easier for online hackers and thieves. And, during the pandemic, it’s affected the state of Kansas the most.
According to the website, Quotewizard, Kansas leads the nation in the percentage increase in identity theft since the beginning of the pandemic. But experts say there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your personal information.
Glove Weeks, Personal Banker, American Bank, said, “Don’t give any of your personal information over the phone, or online, for a site you don’t trust.”
Glove Weeks, with American Bank in Baxter Springs, says any unusual purchases you see on your bank statement should be checked right away.
“Yeah, call your bank immediately and tell them something’s up and they can, they can actually, generally we can say freeze the account so that we can kind of monitor it and get you either open a new account or try and monitor it and make sure nothing else comes through.”
While someone of any age can fall victim to identity theft, two groups are the most likely to have it happen to them.
Jason Rincker, Stronghold Data, said, “The seniors and the young people, you have to understand that you are a target and you need to do what you can to protect yourself.”
Jason Rincker says people in both those age groups may not realize they are giving away valuable personal financial information – until it’s too late.
“What really is concerning is when they’re wiring money or sending money”
Here’s how the other states ranked locally. The state of Arkansas ranks 7th. Oklahoma is 8th. Missouri ranks 28th.