Identity theft is a major problem in the America. Michigan Attorney General ID theft expert Jim Fleck says it happens about every three seconds. During a forum at Bay City Hall Monday night, Fleck pointed to eight Michigan cities among the 50 biggest targets in the country, including Ann Arbor and East Lansing. He said that’s most likely because of students sharing dorm rooms or apartments.

Fleck said a popular phishing scam is a fake online request that looks like your bank’s web page, to confirm your account information. He said many scammers go “dumpster diving,”  or going through trash looking for key personal information. He advises removing labels from prescription drug containers, never leaving your purse or wallet unattended and never giving out information over the phone or online, unless you’re sure the request is legitimate.

Fleck suggests using a sentence for your password, with a hyphen between the words. He said you should also be cautious using free WI-FI.

Fleck suggests even children aren’t safe. In 2017, more than one million American children under age eight had their identity stolen. In many cases, the theft is not discovered for many years. The Michigan Attorney General’s office offers more information at

Identity theft expert Jim Fleck says scammers using many tricks to steal your information. (WSGW News photo by Bill Hewitt)