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NCJ Number: 221900 Find in a Library
Title: Assessing Our Knowledge of Identity Theft: The Challenges to Effective Prevention and Control Efforts
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:19  Issue:1  Dated:March 2008  Pages:3-24
Author(s): Michael D. White; Christopher Fisher
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 22
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article highlights the challenges that hinder the understanding of identity theft, thereby limiting the effectiveness of prevention and intervention efforts.
Abstract: Challenges that play the role of barriers that limit efforts to prevent and efforts to effectively respond to the problem of identity theft include: inconsistent definitions through variations in State legislation, the nature of the crime itself (how it is committed, discovered, and reported), inconsistent and fragmented responses by law enforcement and private industry, and one of the most important challenges, poor data and research. Ten recommendations for prevention and intervention are presented addressing the primary challenges through securing place and enhancing guardianship, while also emphasizing better data and more research. Recommendations include: elimination of blind mailings, new security for opening accounts, focus on online identity theft, police and public education, uniform definitions and model law, national uniform reporting systems, flexible crime reporting systems for police, task forces, quick response, and proper police training, and private industry modification procedures. Identity theft, defined as the unlawful use of another’s identifying information for gain has quickly become the most prevalent financial crime in the United States. This article summarizes the primary challenges to improving one’s knowledge of and response to identity theft by examining four broad themes: the limitations of current definitions of identity theft; how it is committed, discovered, and reported; the inconsistent and fragmented response by law enforcement and private industry; and problems with existing data sources and implications for measuring prevalence. Table, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Fraud; Identity Theft
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Crime prevention planning; Crime specific countermeasures; Personal Security/Self Protection; Victimization
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