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Florida is still the fraud king, and Tampa Bay among worst metros

Here are some bragging rights that we'd rather not have.

Florida is once again tops among all states with the highest number of fraud reports, and Tampa Bay is among the nation's top five metro areas for fraud reports. The latest report by the Federal Trade Commission found that Florida had 208,443 reports of fraud last year, about 993 per 100,000 people.

Tampa Bay accounted for 24,972 fraud reports, about 824 per 100,000 people, in 2017, earning it the dubious ranking of No. 4 among the top 20 metros for fraud.

It was hardly alone, joined among the worst of the worst by fellow Florida metros Homosassa Springs (at No. 1), Ocala (No. 3), Gainesville (No. 5), and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (No. 7).

Among the most-reported scams in Florida were debt collection — 41 percent of reported scams — followed by identity theft (13 percent) and imposter scams (9 percent). Within identity theft, credit card fraud accounted for the bulk of that kind of scam.

Contact this reporter at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

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