Breaking News
More () »

Central Georgia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports, and more | Macon, Georgia | 13WMAZ.com

Georgia ranked as top state for identity theft

Two Central Georgia cities are named in the top 5 worst in the country

MACON, Ga. — Georgia has climbed to the number one state for identity theft, according to the federal Trade Commission. 

Not only is Georgia number one, but Macon had the most people per capita that fell victim to identity theft at 32%.

Warner Robins ranks number four at 28%.

Kelvin Collins with the Better Business Bureau says young people need to be especially careful about the information they give out.

Like most 20-somethings, Marybeth Handte shops mostly online, but she says she only uses reputable sites that she can trust before entering her personal information.

"I'm always a little hesitant when I enter my credit card information or my phone or my address," said Handte. 

Collins says young adults like Handte are most likely to fall victim to identity theft.

"They're young. They haven't had a chance to mess up their credit. That's valuable for an identity thief," said Collins. 

ID Theft Tips:

  1. Opt out of preapproved credit card offers (optoutprescreen.com & 1-888-5OPTOUT (567-8688)
  2. Don’t enter personal information on unfamiliar websites or respond to phishing emails
  3. Create unique passwords, maintain up to date antivirus, and don’t send personal information over public Wi-Fi
  4. Shred any bill statements or receipts that have personal information printed on it
  5. Check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228 (at least once annually – Georgia residents receive two free copies each year)

Handte's record is all clean, but she says she'll continue to keep up with the information she gives out online and over the phone, so her identity stays safe.

RELATED: 'Identities for 50 cents': FBI uses Atlanta case to warn how easy identity theft is

RELATED: Older Georgians targeted by genetic testing scams

RELATED: Georgia drivers to get new, 'more secure' licenses

RELATED: VERIFY: Are scams following massive data breaches?

RELATED: Police believe hundreds of mail fraud cases around US connected to suspected package thief

RELATED: Monroe County couple scammed, told they won $1 million