One of the least selective types of crime, identity theft can happen to almost anyone, anywhere. This type of crime impacts a wide variety of people across the planet, each to a different degree. This type of crime, although widespread and with the potential to impact many different people, does have a few “target groups” – meaning that there are certain people who are more likely to become victims than others. Sadly, sometimes this is through no fault of their own and simply comes down to stereotyping or a case of “wrong place, wrong time”.
The elderly and the very young are often victims of ID theft. While these two groups are very different from each other, they are commonly targeted by thieves due to their willingness to share information on the Internet. While these generations are learning to use their computers and devices, many accounts are set up – email, social media, bill paying, app purchasing… each time this information is provided is one more chance for a thief to potentially access it, which can in turn lead to cases of identity theft with dire consequences. It’s important to educate both of these groups about the importance of only using secure sites and giving information to trusted sources.
Those that give out a great deal of personal information are also victims more than those that are somewhat private. A name is a powerful thing – people will do anything that they can in order to access the information of someone else, especially if they know how to work their way into an account using tricks. This is common behavior for thieves, who have become “successful” by stealing information from others. Sometimes it only takes a name – thieves are able to use a first and last name to find out intimate details about people, especially if they use social media. One name and a vague location could give a thief access to everything by finding a social media page and using it to guess things like passwords, account names, and likely spending habits.
People that don’t commonly check their account status are more likely to become ID theft victims. Without checking an account, it is difficult to know whether or not there has been a breach or theft. The more you check your information, the more likely it is that you’ll catch the thieves. Luckily for potential victims, companies like this one have developed methods by which users can protect their information, be it financial or personal. Even though these protection methods may seem like overkill for those that have not yet become victims, they can be truly useful when it comes to preventing prolonged cases of identity theft in the future. These programs work by looking over relevant information constantly – waiting to find something out of the ordinary so that they can report it back to individual users. For this group, those included are of all ages and computer literacy levels – it just truly depends on how busy you are and how vigilant you stay when it comes to your personal information.