Amount of Fraud By State in 2016, Ranked (Sorry, Florida)

Illustration for article titled Amount of Fraud By State in 2016, Ranked (Sorry, Florida)

Have you ever gotten a call or email from someone claiming to be a friend or relative who needed money fast, but it turns out that it was all just a scam? You’re not alone. These “imposter scams” are on the rise, and according to a new report, they surpassed identity theft scams for the first time in 2016.


Each year, the FTC releases a report in conjunction with state law enforcement agencies about the types and numbers of scams reported all around the country. The report only counts fraud and other types of shady business dealings that were reported by consumers, but still gives an interesting snapshot of what kinds of scams are happening all around the US.

Of the over 3 million complaints filed in 2016 to the Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN), an online database for consumer complaints used by law enforcement agencies, 1.3 million were fraud related. Roughly 77 percent of people who reported scams said they were contacted by phone. Just 8 percent were contacted by email, and 3 percent were contacted by snail mail. The report also saw a steep increase in scams aimed at members of the military.

Roughly $744 million in consumer fraud was reported in 2016, with $450 being paid by the average victim. The top state for fraud? Florida, which had roughly 1,305 complaints per 100,000 people. Georgia and Michigan weren’t far behind, with 1,136 and 1,083 complaints per 100,000 respectively.

The least amount of fraud reported was in North Dakota, with just 284 complaints per 100,000 people. South Dakota and Iowa were also near the bottom of the list, with 320 and 342 complaints per 100,000 each.

You can see the full list in order below:

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Michigan
  4. Texas
  5. Nevada
  6. Alabama
  7. Maryland
  8. Delaware
  9. Tennessee
  10. California
  11. Missouri
  12. Louisiana
  13. Virginia
  14. South Carolina
  15. Rhode Island
  16. New Mexico
  17. Ohio
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Arizona
  20. North Carolina
  21. New Jersey
  22. Mississippi
  23. Colorado
  24. Connecticut
  25. Illinois
  26. New York
  27. New Hampshire
  28. Indiana
  29. Washington
  30. Massachusetts
  31. Oregon
  32. West Virginia
  33. Kentucky
  34. Arkansas
  35. Oklahoma
  36. Kansas
  37. Minnesota
  38. Wisconsin
  39. Idaho
  40. Montana
  41. Maine
  42. Utah
  43. Wyoming
  44. Nebraska
  45. Vermont
  46. Hawaii
  47. Alaska
  48. Iowa
  49. South Dakota
  50. North Dakota

As for the most popular types of scams of 2016, they included identity theft, scams involving prizes or sweepstakes, and auto-related complaints. You can find the whole list—and read the entire report—here, if you’re so inclined. And keep your head on a swivel, Floridians. It seems everybody’s out to get you.


Matt Novak is a senior writer at Gizmodo and founder of He's writing a book about the movies U.S. presidents watched at the White House, Camp David, and on Air Force One.



I would like to point out that the top 4, and 6 of the top 10, are states which have governments that are primarily controlled by Republicans.