EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Residents in Texas have a high risk of falling victim to identity theft, according to the latest data released by the National Council on Identity Theft Protection.

Texas came in fifth overall on the list of the states in which residents are most at-risk of identity theft based on the number of reported cases between 2019 and 2021 and a variety of other factors.

Georgia residents were the most likely to encounter this growing problem while those in Iowa were the least likely.

The state of New Mexico also saw a relatively low number of identity theft crimes between 2019 and 2021. Residents in the Land of Enchantment were the seventh-least likely to experience identity theft over that period.

The study attributes differences in the frequency of the crime to states having unique laws regarding data protection and certain states making it easier to report identity theft in the first place.

The study shows that someone in this country is victimized by this issue every 22 seconds and the total number of victims is expected to continue to rise in 2023.

The researchers say they also factored in the ratio of identity theft to all reported cases of fraudulent activity when coming up with the final rankings.

Those rankings were also slightly impacted by whether a state placed a priority on programs aimed at helping people recover stolen information.

The total cost to all victims in 2021 alone was estimated to be around $5.8 billion with the median cost to victims hovering around the $500 mark, according to the study.

Identity theft could include the complete takeover of someone’s existing accounts or creating new accounts in someone else’s name. Additionally, some cybercriminals will temporarily impersonate others online in order to collect something like a tax refund or other benefit.