Twin Cities not an identity fraud hot spot

Twin Cities residents may get frequent offers from their banks and credit card companies to sign up for fee-based identity protection services. But the Twin Cities (and Minnesota overall) are not hot spots for identity theft and other types of fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

I wrote last week about some of those products your bank and credit card companies are offering, and how some consumers are skeptical. This week, the FTC released its annual report on consumer fraud, including identity theft.

It found that identity theft, including credit card fraud, is the most common consumer complaint. But the number of overall identity theft complaints has dropped to 250,854 in 2010 after reaching a peak of 314,521 in 2008.

In Minnesota, the numbers have followed a similar pattern. In 2010, the number was 2,612, though FTC officials warn that the number is anecdotal and probably lower than the actual number of identity theft victims.

The FTC also puts out a list of the 50 cities in the country with the highest rate of identity theft consumer complaints. The Twin Cities isn’t on the list, and no city in Minnesota is. Overall, Minnesota has the 36th highest rate among states of identity theft complaints.

According to the FTC’s report, the closest hot spot for identity theft to Minnesota is Monroe, Mich. Most of the hot spot cities are in Texas, California and Florida.

The FTC’s full report is available here.

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