Study: Michigan vulnerable to identity theft - WNEM TV 5

Study: Michigan vulnerable to identity theft

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A new study says Michigan is high on the list of states vulnerable to identity theft.

Identity theft can damage your job prospects, cause your auto insurance rates to rise, impact your social security income credits and leave you with a criminal record.

It is estimated every two seconds someone becomes a victim.

"This is a global epidemic. People all over being targeted for identity theft," said Aaron Hamp, CEO of I.N.C. Systems.

Hamp said as technology gets smarter, so do thieves. His company provides computer network security to high profile medical and manufacturing companies.

He said thieves are working around the clock to get your information.

"What they're trying to do is get different credit card numbers, different loans, etc. They can create these things using your information. They'll do anything they can to get profit and your money," Hamp said.

The internet company Wallet Hub recently did a national study looking at which states are most at risk. They ranked the states based on the total number of identity complaints and the average amount lost due to fraud.

Michigan ranked sixth as one of the worst states for identity theft.

Hamp said internet predators are doing this various ways.

"One of them is phishing. What that is is sending an email to you or to other people impersonating your bank. Or a government site. And then saying please verify your identify," Hamp said.

Experts said there are some red flags to tip you off to whether your identity has been stolen.

  • Unexplained bank withdrawals
  • Unfamiliar credit charges
  • Calls about unknown debts
  • Bills and other mail that just stop coming

Bill Herron runs Security Credit Union in Grand Blanc. He encourages all of his clients to constantly monitor their credit. He said he checks his regularly.

"That allows me to go through and check to make sure that everything is the way that it should be, that all of the credit lines are actually mine. Then you can check to make sure nothing has been open without your permission," Herron said.

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