• United States



by Daniel Horgan

Targeting Athletes: Personal Foul

Jan 01, 20042 mins
IT Leadership

With high profiles and plenty of personal information readily available, NFL players and other athletes are easy targets

With high profiles and plenty of personal information readily available, NFL players are easy targets

The NFL’s most popular stars, big guys with big bank accounts, are probably more susceptible to ID theft than many other famous people. Because their faces are often obscured behind helmets with face masks, they may not be easy to recognize, which makes them easy to impersonate. And a player’s salary is public information, his weekly whereabouts are easily tracked, and almost anyone can learn a player’s full name, date of birth, hometown and any necessary physical information simply by opening a media guide.Ty Law, the Pro Bowl cornerback for the New England Patriots, knows the dangers all too well. Law was targeted by someone who obtained a copy of Law’s birth certificate and other information to register for an Ohio driver’s license. The thief then used the fake identification to make two $10,000 withdrawals from Law’s bank account. In one instance, the brigand even signed autographs and posed for pictures as Law with misguided banker fans.

Law contacted the authorities after finding only $33 in an account that once held thousands. A week later, the thief was arrested as he was withdrawing money from an account of Washington Redskins linebacker Kevin Mitchell.

When Law was debriefed after the arrest, he was shown the mock license that the con man used. A lighthearted Law commented to the Providence Journal, “I saw a picture of the guy, and I sat there and said, ‘They thought I was that ugly? I thought I was a little better than that.'”