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Tennis Enthusiasts Top Victims of ID Theft

By Faye Mergel
Published: Saturday, January 30th, 2010

A recent report reveals wealthy consumers who are fond of tennis and other leisure activities such as skiing and international travel are at greater risks of becoming identity theft victims. Identity thieves are extremely difficult to stop because of the many ways they can work their crime out but consumers can prevent crooks from using their accounts if they check their credit report regularly.

Tennis Enthusiasts Top Victims of ID TheftThis week, credit bureau Experian issued a report revealing that wealthy suburban consumers are the top targets of ID thieves. These affluent consumers are typically cardholders who live within and around metropolitan areas, hold college degrees and sometimes graduate diplomas, enjoy leisure activities, and, in most cases, are married.

Lawyer Gail Hillebrand explains ID thieves victimize wealthy consumers simply because they have the money. Those who are most likely to be targeted by crooks are interested in tennis, politics, charities or volunteering, foreign travel, culture and arts, and skiing.

Being metropolitan residents also make them more prone to cases of ID theft. Consumer advocate Linda Sherry says it is easier to find discarded documents in suburban areas compared to other places. Affluent consumers tend to hire domestic help and other services, giving outsiders an access to their personal document.

Credit report issuer Experian conducted its study from January 27 to November 2008 and found out that among the 12 demographic groups it surveyed, those who belong to the “affluent suburbia” are most prone to the crime. They are followed by consumers belonging to the categories “upscale American” and “American diversity”, which is largely made up of middle class consumers.

But ID thieves are not the only ones who are interested in people who own luxury vehicles and live in upper-class neighborhoods. Keir Breitenfield of Experian’s ID theft solutions says creditors are also targeting people who belong to that demographic. Since these people have more lines of credit, thieves who want to steal from them have an easier time accessing their accounts. Breitenfield says crooks would want to assume the identity of someone who can avail high-value services.

Advocates likewise warn the public that not only wealthy consumers can be victims of ID thieves. Hillebrand tells consumers that it can be difficult to stop ID crooks, even the rich are getting victimized.
Experts say creditors are also responsible to help protect the identity of their clients. However, that responsibility is not limited to them alone.

Consumers can prevent unauthorized access to their accounts if they check their credit report regularly. A credit report records the credit activities of a consumers, allowing them to know what accounts were opened or purchases were made under their name.

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