Is Your Favorite Celebrity an ID Theft Victim?
June 26, 2012
Jackie here, with AllClear ID. If you don’t think id theft can happen to you, think again. Everyone is at risk, even your favorite celebrities. Check out how id theft has impacted a few of your favorite celebrities.
- Former Minnesota Vikings Running Back Michael Bennett- His identity was stolen by a police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard. He stole mail from Bennett and other players which he used to commit identity theft. The thief lost his job and received 3 years of probation and $117 in fines for this crime.
- Tiger Woods- His identity was stolen back in 2000 by Antony Taylor – who used Woods’ identity to buy over $17,000 worth of furniture and electronics. Taylor would impersonate Woods at various stores to open credit accounts. Taylor was sentenced to 200 years under California’s Three Strikes Law.
- Paris Hilton- A Massachusetts teen was jailed for hacking Paris Hilton’s phone and posting her celebrity contact info online. The same teen was also involved in hacking a LexisNexis database and acquiring records for more than 300,000 consumers.
- Jerry Orbach- Prior to his 2004 death, Law and Order star Jerry Orbach was a victim to identity theft many times over. Orbach’s identity was stolen when his Social Security number was posted on Ebay. He became a victim a second time when his wallet was stolen on the Law and Order set. Orbach became actively involved in the fight against identity theft when he became the face of a post-office identity theft awareness ad campaign.
- Robert De Niro- A housekeeper to Robert De Niro pled guilty to stealing from her celebrity employers. The housekeeper made purchases from upscale stores using stolen credit cards and used the Social Security number of a young girl to obtain employment illegally.
- Michael Jordan- Jordan’s bank account information was found in the home of Ishman Walker. Walker was arrested for identity theft right after he was unable to find someone to act as his accomplice and impersonate either Michael Jordan, or his wife at the time, Juanita. Lesson Learned: Protect your bank account numbers.
- Will Smith- An identity thief posed as Will Smith and opened at least 14 credit card accounts in his name. The thief, Carlos Lomax, was sentenced to prison time and required to pay more than $60,000 in restitution for the purchases he made. However, his wasn’t Lomax’s first celebrity id theft. He had a previous id theft conviction connected to Steve Smith, a former Atlanta Hawk’s basketball player and TV commentator.
The point is: you’re not alone. Identity theft is not just for those who aren’t in the spotlight. Keep yourself safe by protecting your information and checking out these identity theft protection tips.