Kansas hit hard by identity theft during COVID-19 pandemic
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Identity theft rose sharply last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, and no place was hit harder than Kansas.
The Wichita Eagle reports that 43,211 Kansans alerted the Federal Trade Commission in 2020 that someone had stolen or tried to steal their identity. That was 2,272 more cases than in 2019.
Kansas’ 1,802% year-over-year increase was the highest among the states and more than three times the national average. Rhode Island was next, with an increase of 1,002%.
Of all the 2020 identity theft reports in Kansas, 88% were classified as government documents or benefits fraud. The Kansas Department of Labor has cited a barrage of fraudulent unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic began.