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South Dakota has 2nd-fewest ID thefts

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The number of identity thefts in South Dakota rose in 2011, but the state was still among those with the fewest cases, according to a new government report.

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South Dakota had the second fewest complaints of identity theft in the nation in 2011, according to a report released in February by the Federal Trade Commission, which compiled national statistics regarding identity theft and other types of fraud.

The report found South Dakota had 206 reported complaints of identity theft in 2011, or 25.3 for every 100,000 people in the state, up slightly from the 200 reported complaints in 2010. The only state with fewer reported identity theft complaints in 2011 was North Dakota, with 156, or 23.2 for every 100,000 people in the state.

Florida had the most reported identity theft complaints per person in the country in 2011 with 33,595, or 178.7 for every 100,000 people in the state. The state of California had the most complaints regardless of population with 38,607.

South Dakota had the fewest identity theft complaints per person in the country in 2010 with 200 reported complaints, or 24.6 complaints for every 100,000 people in the state.

Credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft in the state in 2011 with 35 reported complaints, or 17 percent of total complaints.

The same was true in 2010, when 42 complaints of credit card fraud made up 21 percent of total identity theft complaints.

"Just be careful with your information and what you're doing with your credit cards," said Mitchell Police Division Detective Lt. Don Everson. "Just make it a little harder for people to get your personal information."

Everson said Mitchell police don't deal with identity theft cases on a daily basis, but probably have about one or two cases each month.

Nationwide, identity theft increased from 251,105 complaints in 2010 to 279,156 complaints in 2011.

The number of identity theft complaints has risen significantly since 2001 when 86,250 complaints were reported, and peaked most recently in 2008 at 314,594 complaints.

The FTC report found the age group most likely to be affected by identity theft in 2011 was 20 to 29 year olds, who made up about 23 percent of the total complaints, and found the least likely to be affected were those people 70 and over, who made up about 6 percent of the total complaints.

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