Americans in These States Are Most Likely to be Catfishing Victims

Catfish scams, or internet romance scams, affect people all over the country. But in some states, this crime is more prevalent and costs individuals even more money. With help from HighSpeedInternet.com we take a look at states where Americans are most likely to be catfishing victims.

15. Idaho

Idaho state flag | Oleksii Liskonih/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in Idaho is $10,401.60.
“Scammers often claim to be in the military or working overseas to explain why they can’t meet you in person,” Rebecca Barr of the Better Business Bureau told KIVI Channel 6 in Boise. “Just when the relationship seems to be getting serious, your new sweetheart has a health issue or family emergency, or wants to plan a visit. No matter the story, the request is the same: they need money.”

Next: Coming in at No. 14 …

14. Arkansas

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The average cost per catfishing scam in Arkansas is $37,267.80 — the highest in the country. According to the FBI’s website, catfishing is also the most costly internet-based crime scam in the country.

Next: Coming in at No. 13 …

13. New Mexico

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The average cost per catfishing scam in New Mexico is $33,867.44, second-most expensive in the country to Arkansas. HighSpeedInternet.com suggests refraining from sending money, no matter how well you think you know someone online. “Some of these scams can last for years, so even if you’ve been chatting with someone for a long time, that doesn’t mean their intentions are good,” they say.

Next: Coming in at No. 12 …

12. New Hampshire

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The average cost per catfishing scam in New Hampshire is $6,626.44. There is some good news though: Amherst Local News out of the state tells us the Better Business Bureau has teamed up with Western Union to offer tips on avoiding becoming a catfish victim.

Next: Coming in at No. 11 …

11. Oklahoma

Oklahoma state flag | Oleksii Liskonih/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in Oklahoma is $6,008.47. In 2015, the MTV show “Catfish: The TV Show” zeroed in on a scammer from Oklahoma City who used pictures of a woman from Sacramento, California to create a fake social media account.

Next: Coming in at No. 10 …

10. West Virginia

West Virginia state flag | Derek Brumby/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in West Virginia is the fifth-lowest in the country at $4,289.13. The state is trying to crack down on phone and internet scams, with the state attorney general issuing a warning over the holidays to help keep citizens safe.

Next: Coming in at No. 9 …

9. Maryland

Maryland state flag | Derek Brumby/ iStock/ Getty Images

The bulk of Maryland’s catfishing scams occur in the Washington D.C. area, which itself racks up an average bill of $10,547.33 per scam. In the state as a whole, catfishing scams average $16,822.27.

Next: Coming in at No. 8 …

8. Washington

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The average cost per catfishing scam in Washington state is $21,433.07. To get a better idea of what a catfishing account might look like, check out TruthFinder’s list of what many fake profiles have in common.

Next: Coming in at No. 7 …

7. Florida

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The average cost per catfishing scam in Florida is $14,730.46. In August 2018, one Florida woman lost $1 million in an online dating scam. She was, unfortunately, just one of many victims of catfishing that year.

Next: Coming in at No. 6 …

6. Virginia

Virginia state flag | Oleksii Liskonih/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in $14,784.78. In one incident from September 2018, a female former medical center lab technician was sued for reportedly creating a fake Facebook persona of a man in order to trick one of the nurses into buying the fake person gifts.

Next: Coming in at No. 5 …

5. Oregon

Oregon state flag | Oleksii Liskonih/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in Oregon is $22,905.94. KLEW TV news reported on one Oregon woman in 2013 who had been catfished twice, which ended up costing her $30,000.

Next: Coming in at No. 4 …

4. Arizona

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The average cost per catfishing scam in $11,521.92. In early 2019, an elderly woman came forward to tell her story of being scammed out of thousands of dollars in hopes others could learn from her story and avoid being scammed as well.

Next: Coming in at No. 3 …

3. Colorado

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The average cost per catfishing scam in $16,705.77. KRDO TV news in Colorado recommends watching out for “poor grammar, very few photos, and their inability to meet you in person” when it comes to spotting a catfish scheme.

Next: Coming in at No. 2 …

2. Nevada

Nevada state flag | Oleksii Liskonih/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in Nevada is $10,164.32. LasVegasNow.com reminded citizens in 2018 to report catfishing activity to the FBI. “You may not be able to get your money back, but you can help other people from falling victim to the predators,” they said.

Next: Coming in at No. 1 …

1. Alaska

Alaksa state flag | lippyjr/ iStock/ Getty Images

The average cost per catfishing scam in Alaska, where this sort of scam is at its most prevalent, is $17,881.24. As a reminder: Be wary of any type of online relationship, romantic or otherwise, where you are asked for money but have never met the person face to face. Even if you talk to this person every day over a long period of time, never meeting them should be a red flag they don’t have the best intentions.

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