As if we don't have enough to worry about, New Jersey has been named among the states most vulnerable to ID theft and fraud, according to a recent study.

Just in case you are able to push COVID from your mind for even the most fleeting of moments, the universe has thrown something else at us to fill in the stress gaps. Or at least criminals have.

It turns out, according to WalletHub, New Jersey is the 5th most vulnerable state when it comes to ID theft and fraud. Here are the categories we rank as the most vulnerable state in the nation:

Identity Theft Passport Program

State Security-Freeze Laws for Minor's Credit Reports

The study uses 14 key metrics over 3 categories to determine their rankings. Get the full report here. There is no doubt that with numbers like these, we need to do something about it here at the Jersey Shore.

There is no doubt that all of the stress and distractions 2020 has brought to each of us, we might not be focusing on securing our identity and avoid fraud. And as a reminder, here are some tips from the experts.

Here's what the U.S. Government says about ID theft. You can help avoid it by not giving out your personal info and social security number, collect your mail every day, use security features on your phone and install firewalls on your home computer.

And here are some tips the FTC offers on protecting your credit cards. Carry them separate from your wallet, only bring the one you need, don't share credit card info, be very careful when using your cards online and save receipts to match with your bill.

Please be careful. The last thing any one of us needs is another problem heaped on to a year already filled with turmoil.

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