Approximately one out of every twenty-five people in the United States will be affected with identity theft and other such fraudulent activities each and every year. Identity theft and fraud are one of the most prevalent and pervasive crimes. Each year, the losses from identity theft, total in over hundreds of billions of dollars. Federal and state governments have stepped up in trying to prevent and stop identity theft. How does an everyday citizen understand identity theft and fraud? This essay will help by discussing the identity theft cycle and the justification and excuses for committing fraud such as identity theft.
I’ve decided to write my research paper on the issue of identity theft. Identity theft has occurred all throughout history in various ways and forms. Today, it is one of the fastest growing crimes occurring all over the world. Data suggests that identity theft accounts for roughly $50 billion stolen each year from citizens and businesses in the U.S. I believe that more attention should be targeted towards identity theft because of the detrimental effects it can have on a single victim and on our nation’s economy. Topics I will discuss include statistics about the crime, laws that protect the victims of the crimes, and what we are doing to prevent future attacks from happening.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in both the US and abroad. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that identity theft costs consumers as much as $50 billion annually and that this number will likely keep growing (Finklea, 2010, p. 1). Additionally, the FTC receives in excess 250,000 consumer complaints of identity theft each year and this is believed to be only a fraction of the total number of victims (Finklea, 2010, p. 9). There are several types and methods of identity theft and these methods continue to increase as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. Understanding the types and methods of identity theft can reduce potential victimization.
The average number of U.S identity theft victims annually is 11, 571, 900 and the total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013 is 21 billion dollars (Identity theft/fraud statistics, 2013).Identity theft does not discriminate against age, race, or income. Anyone can be affected by identity theft. The most vulnerable age group to this crime ranges from age 18 to 24; followed by the age group 35 to 49. The most reported cases of identity theft involve financial motivation (Perl, 2003). Identity theft falls into three categories: financial identity theft, non-financial identity theft, and criminal record identity theft. Financial identity theft is the category that our paper will be focusing on. Non-financial identity theft involves telecommunications and utilities fraud or using the victim’s information to get government documents. This can be used to enter the country illegally or plan and execute terrorist attacks. Criminal record identity theft is basically the criminal using an innocent person’s clean record, meaning the person does not have a criminal record, to dodge being arrested.
This shows that identity theft is a growing problem that needs to be addressed (VanderPal). The United States Department of Justice, a branch of the United States government, defines identity theft as “terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.” Identitytheft.info, a website edited by Rob Douglas, an identity theft expert, states, “…every individual or business is vulnerable to attack when it comes to personal or corporate information, products and services.” They also state, “As the methods used to perform identity theft expand, so do the types of accounts and services being stolen by identity thieves” (“Identity Theft Statistics”). As shown above, millions of people are being affected by identity theft in the United States, and it is only
It was reported by Javelin Strategy & Research, frequency of identity theft reached an all-time high in 2016. In fact, it was estimated that 15.4 billion consumers were victims of some form of identity theft. In the report written by Javelin Strategy & Research it was stated, “2016 will be remembered as a banner year for fraudsters as numerous measures of identity fraud reached new heights” (Sullivan). Although many Americans do not appreciate what identity theft is or what it entails, there were a total of sixteen billion individuals that fell prey last year. Identity theft is also known as identity fraud, “it is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personality identifiable information, such as a Social Security number, to
According to Reyns (2013), Identity theft is a term used to categorize several offenses
involving the fraudulent use of an individual’s personal information for criminal purposes
without their consent. When someone has decided to hijack someone's personal identification
information it not only causes financial damage but also impacts the victim's reputation. In order
to seek justice, a Forensic Accountant can be utilized to help with recovering the damages caused
by identity theft to a make the victim whole again.
Identity theft is an increasing epidemic.
There are many different types of white collar crime this day in age, but few white collar crimes are as damaging as identity theft. To begin identity theft as defined by Michael Flax (2005) is when someone else obtains and uses your personally identifying information without consent or knowledge to obtain credit cards, wireless phones, loans or mortgages, get a job, or otherwise commit fraudulent or criminal acts in your name, leaving you responsible for the consequences. According to Michael Flax (2005) identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States in 2005 costing victims annually over $5 billion dollars. The topic of identity theft is not small so I will be breaking it down into three major sections.
Identity Theft and
Possible Risk in Technology
Identity theft has been a major issue of privacy and fraud. In the data breach analysis from the Identity Theft Resource Center (2013), the number of data breaches from the year 2005 to 2012 increased. In 2012, there had been 49% where the data breach exposed people Social Security Number. The data breach of 2012 has a rate of 27.4% caused by hackers.
In order to explain what Identity Theft is some terminology is needed. Identity in this scope is personal information that is used to identify an individual, such as an individual’s name, social security number, birthdate, etc. A person who steals someone else’s identity is called the victimizer, and the person whose identity was stolen is called the victim. Identity theft happens when a victimizer acts as someone else, the victim, uses the victim’s personal information and acts as the victim to set up accounts using the victim’s identity. Some of the account types used in identity theft are credit card accounts, bank accounts, utility accounts (water, gas, electric, etc.), hospital accounts, any type of personal account that could be created can be used in identity theft. Most times when identity theft is brought up all that is covered is ways victimizers can take your identity to incur the victim debt, but that is not the only case, you can also become a victim of identity theft in other ways. There are reports of people (victims) who have had their identity stolen on social media, a victimizer steals photos of the victim and uses their name to set up an account in the victim’s name, and uses their image to act as them. This form of identity theft can be damaging in different ways, as it can ruin the victim’s reputation. The most common form of identity theft is the type when the victimizer uses the victim’s identity to run up debt in the victim’s name/identity, which can be very damaging, not only does the victim have incurred debt from the victimizer, they may run into financial trouble by having their wages garnished, and other such problems that cause them to get behind on their normal bills. Identity theft can ruin the vict...