Here in Louisiana, we tend to cringe anytime we hear there has been another "nationwide failure list" or " list of bad things" published. The reason is we here in Louisiana seem to always score very high on those lists. And while we might not want to see our state's name emblazed on the best of the worst, it's our reality so we do need to work to change it.

Tired depressed bored african businessman frustrated by business failure

One of the fastest-growing crimes across the state, the nation, and the world is Identity Theft. All it takes is you not paying attention to websites online, noticing a skimmer at a gas station, or an unscrupulous clerk "borrowing" your credit card number when you go to a grocery store or restaurant.

Credit Card
Pekka Jaakkola, ThinkStock

The folks at USA Today have released the results of a new study and Louisiana does not show up well in this one. It was noted that three Louisiana cities are in the top ten for the largest increases in fraud between 2019 and 2023.

If there is one saving grace, for our pride, not our money, the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has the worst rates of fraud in the entire nation. The state of Alabama isn't at the top but the home of the University of Alabama leads the nation in getting screwed over by the bad guys.

McFarland Mall
Johnathon Childs

According to the USA Today study two dozen communities across the country saw their general fraud complaints double. Two of those cities are in Louisiana and they both have something in common. Both cities are college towns. Both cities are home to the "University of Louisiana". That's right the hotspots for fraud in Louisiana are Monroe and Lafayette.

Monroe City, Facebook
Monroe City, Facebook

The USA Today study showed that reports of fraud in general rose by 306.1% according to figures gathered by the Federal Trade Commission. In Lafayette, fraud cases rose by 276.7% based on information furnished by the FTC. The study seemed to show some of the higher rates of fraud were in southern cities.

And while the rates of fraud for Lafayette and Monroe are considerably higher than other communities in Louisiana we should note that the state as a whole is just above average when you consider the number of complaints that are filed.

staff photo
Staff Photo

What Should You Do If You Suspect Fraud?

The experts suggest you place a hold or at least a fraud alert on your credit cards. They suggest you review all financial accounts for suspicious activity. If you do notice anomalies in your finances you may contact local law enforcement or state agencies. You can even reach out to the Federal Trade Commission to make a report.

7 Ways to Spot a Facebook Hoax

A recent hoax claimed the Price Chopper Store in Oneida, NY, was closing its doors went viral both online and in the community. The report was debunked by WIBX after speaking directly with a Price Chopper rep.

Hoaxes spread on Facebook because they're designed to elicit a strong reaction, whether it be outrage or pure joy, in hopes of agitating people and stirring up controversy.

Here's how you can stop yourself from falling for the next fake news report. 

Gallery Credit: Megan