Identity theft is alive and well in Colorado.

While coronavirus-related scams have risen to the surface in recent weeks, identity theft remains an ever-present problem in Colorado.

According to Construction Coverage, there were 6,272 identity thefts in Colorado during 2019. That number seems small compared to Georgia, which lead the nation with over 44,000 identity thefts last year, but don't tell that to the 6,000-plus people who had their lives turned upside down by fraudulent activity.

In Colorado, the numbers translate to 198 cases of identity theft per 100,000 residents. That is the same per capita numbers as the entire nation, which saw more than 650,000 cases of identity theft being reported in 2019. Those numbers represent an increase of 46% since 2018, and 100% in the last five years.

The most targeted age group is those 30-39, which according to the Identity Theft Resource Center is because that is an age bracket that seems more likely to share personal information over the internet.  Although there are many ways for thieves to operate, the most common form of identity theft is credit cards.

During a time when we are all distracted by COVID-19 news and happenings, this is a great reminder to all of us to be extremely careful when it comes to sharing personal information on the internet. Be sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer that can keep attackers out. When sharing credit card information, be sure your connection is secure and that you are sharing it with a credible, and trustworthy site. Consider using an alternative method of online payment such as PayPal.

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