Safety >> Crime >> Identity Theft >> Trend

Complaints about identity theft in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area fell from 2008 to 2010, but may be moving up again.

Crime diminishes the health of our communities through fear, erosion of community cohesion, diversion of public resources, property damage, injury, incarceration, and death. 

The FBI reports that identity theft is pervasive.  In the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Statistical Area, the rate of identity theft declined from 103.7 per 100,000 population in 2008 to 87.5 per 100,000 population in 2012.

  • Compared to other large metropolitan areas in the U.S., the 2012 local rate was …
    • … higher than rates in the Boston and Minneapolis areas.
    • … lower than rates in Dallas, San Francisco, New York, and Denver areas. 
  • In 2012, 56% of all identity theft complaints in Washington State originated in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area (the WA State rate was 77.9 per 100,000).
  • Nationally, the most common forms of reported identity theft in 2012 were …
    • … government documents/benefits fraud (46% in U.S.;  24% in WA).
    • … credit card fraud (13% in U.S.;  19% in WA).
    • … phone or utilities fraud (10% in U.S. and WA).
    • … bank fraud (6% in U.S.; 10% in WA).