(KXNET) — When it comes to identity theft, North Dakota prevents a lot of it from happening.

According to identity monitoring service ID Strong, North Dakota ranks 5th among the best states in fighting identity theft — thanks to a heavy focus on education in our smaller communities.

But the FBI says North Dakotans still need to keep their guard up.

So, what are the numbers in our state regarding identity theft?

  • 45 percent of these cases deal with credit card fraud.
  • 23 percent involves social security-type fraud.
  • 16 percent is loan and lease fraud.
  • 15 percent is phone or utilities fraud.
  • 15 percent is bank fraud.

The FBI says data breaches are the leading cause of identity theft, but a lot of identity theft happens when people respond to phishing emails and listen to criminals, who call on the phone.

According to ID Strong, most criminals target people in cities, including here in North Dakota. That’s why Fargo and Bismarck are listed as the top two places in North Dakota where your identity may be stolen.