Sean Gaffney, The Monitor (Texas), March 13, 2008
McALLEN—The Rio Grande Valley is a hub for identity theft and officials say illegal immigration is likely to blame.
For the second year in a row, the McAllen area ranked 5th for the number of identify theft complaints in the country in 2007, among metro areas with populations of 100,000 or more, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.
This is the second year the numbers have been compiled and also the second time the South Texas region has poorly fared. The Brownsville-Harlingen area actually edged the McAllen area to take the 4th spot in the FTC list. Laredo was No. 12.
The report, released in February, compiled self-reported and unverified consumer complaints from the FTC’s database.
Local officials blamed the high number of complaints on illegal immigration and exaggeration of unverified reports.
The entire Mexican border region is plagued by high instances of identity theft, according to the study. Of the top 25 cities, 17 are in border states.