ID Theft: Who is at the Greatest Risk?

When you think of ID theft, who do you think is the most likely victim? No matter what comes to your mind when you think about this crime, the U. S. Department of Justice has been able to compile the information. Here’s a look at the statistics they came up with.

Gathering of the Information

The U. S. Department of Justice is in a position to collect a great deal of information on ID theft cases. For 2004, the department conducted an analysis of the victims during a six month time period to determine who seemed to face the greatest risk of becoming a victim. Their findings were quite surprising.

Income Brackets

Identity theft, as one might expect, seems to be most prevalent among the middle and upper classes. According to the U. S. Department of Justice, a larger percentage of the victims had incomes of over $74,000. That would make the average victim above average in terms of income. The figure could be misleading, however, because those in the lower brackets may be more likely to know the thieves and less likely to report the crime


Another fact discovered by the most recent identity theft statistics available from the US DOJ was that most victims of ID theft lived either in urban and suburban areas. This may not be much of a surprise since those in rural areas may be less likely to partake in the types of activities that put them at greater risk, such as leaving their mail exposed in mailboxes, using their credit cards at common locations with lots of people, shopping on the Internet, or leaving their trash by the curb, allowing someone to rummage through it.

Age Range

While the above findings of ID theft cases may not be all that shocking, one of the findings was surprising: the age of the victims. Houses and families affected by this crime were more likely to be headed by someone who was between the ages of 18 and 24. This seems to be at odds with the income findings because this age group is usually just graduating from high school or college and getting entry level positions with earnings of more than $70,000 would not be common.

However, the age range may reflect the broader financial demographics of the victims. The age range also makes sense given the types of activities that leave people more vulnerable, such as Internet activity.