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When it comes to identity theft, everyone is a potential victim. The number of identity theft cases in the U.S. increase every year, and thousands of Americans fall victim to this practice every day. Although it’s possible to rebuild your life after becoming a victim of identity theft, the process can take years. Fortunately, by understanding some common identity theft risk factors, it is possible to take steps to decrease your odds of having your identity stolen. In this article, we discuss a few of the primary identity theft risk factors.

Education and Income

Individuals with a college education are approximately 10 percent more likely to become identity theft victims than those with some or no college education. In addition, as a person’s income increases, so do his or her odds of becoming a victim of identity theft.  

Age

 Age is another factor that affects one’s identity theft risk. The highest risk age groups for identity theft are children, college students, and the elderly. Although it may come as a shock to learn that children are at high risk for identity theft, they are over 50 times more likely to become identity theft victims than adults.

Location

Location can affect one’s odds of becoming an identity theft victim. Residents in the following states are particularly vulnerable to having their identities stolen: 

  • Florida
  • The District of Columbia
  • California
  • Michigan
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Connecticut

Reduce Your Odds of Becoming an Identity Theft Victim

Although the above factors increase the risk that you will have your identity stolen, there are steps you can take to reduce your odds of being victimized, including: 

  • Change your passwords frequently. Identity thieves often gain access to people’s personal information by obtaining their passwords. Therefore, you should choose passwords that are difficult to guess and change them often.
  • Be cautious online. When you share personal information online, you increase your odds of becoming an identity theft victim. Therefore, you should be very cautious about what you post on the internet.
  • Be cautious offline. Identity theft doesn’t only occur on the internet. Therefore, you should also be very selective about the information you share with people you come into contact with within your day-to-day life.
  • Protect your phone. Finally, you should be careful about the apps you download for your phone. Specifically, you should make sure your phone is password-protected, and you should only use apps that use industry-grade encryption methods.

Contact a Consumer Class Action Attorney Today! 

If you have had your identity stolen, you need an experienced consumer class action attorney on your side. Identify theft is often the result of the negligence of businesses and other financial organizations that store or have access to your personal information. When one of these entities provides a party with unauthorized access to this information, our attorneys will work hard to make sure you are fully compensated for your losses. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.