INDIANA (WANE) — With the rise in scam phone calls and text messages, financial fraud is plaguing the nation with some of the least expected states being the most affected.

Fraud is defined by Merriam-Webster as the “intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.” This definition may vary state by state based on the local or state law.

According to data released by Tipalti, Indiana is ranked number nine on the list of states with the highest financial fraud. According to Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer David Lewis, in the state of Indiana, fraud crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or Level 6 felonies, depending on the severity of the case.

The number 1 state with 286 victims per 100,000 population is Nevada, with the highest financial fraud in the country. Depending on severity Nevada law states that an individual committing the offence can face 1 to 4 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

The second state on the list is Delaware with 228 victims per 100,000 population. Delaware does have measures to minimize fraudulent activity with the state’s Fraud and Consumer Protection Division set up by the Attorney General’s Office to protect the public from fraud. The third highest state facing financial fraud is Alaska with 210 victims per 100,000 population.

The United States as a whole comes out on top with the highest number of victims compared to the top 20 countries. In fact, the US nearly doubled the number of victims of the United Kingdom, which came in second on the list.

So, what precautionary measures can be taken to avoid fraud? With the advancement of automated payments, more precautionary measures have been taken to protect those from fraudulent activities. Biometrics, authentication and AI-driven algorithms have played a pivotal role in creating online safety and according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) Recovery Asset Team (RAT) these preventative strategies have had a 73% success rate.

One of the best ways to avoid financial fraud is to be aware of all personal accounts and confirm any financial communications with your institution. If you need to report a scam, contact your financial institution and report it to the Federal Trade Commission so both can create a case.