Study Shows that Illinois was Hit Hard by Identity Theft

According to a recent study, Illinois experienced more identity theft per capita than any other state in the nation during 2021. Overall, Illinois was ranked the 6thmost vulnerable state to identity theft and fraud.

The study compared states across 14 metrics, which included average loss amounts, fraud arrest rates and data disposal laws. It also found that Illinois had the nation’s worst identity-theft passport program. This is a program intended to help victims of identity theft regain control of their identities and help them avoid mistaken arrest as well as dispute fraudulent credit charges.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has experienced unprecedented issues related to its unemployment system, including the botched attempt to update the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s (IDES) outdated computer system. The introduction of this update exposed the Social Security numbers and personal information of nearly 32,500 claimants.

Additionally, while IDES has not yet released full figures on the impact of unemployment fraud since the beginning of the pandemic, an audit of just the first seven weeks of the federal government’s unemployment pandemic-related programs revealed that IDES gave more than $155 million to fraudulent claims.

Jason Plummer

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