Identity Theft

Heith Copes and Lynne Vieraitis

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199844654
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbook in Criminology & Criminal Justice

 Identity Theft

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
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This article provides an overview about identity theft. It elaborates the uncertainty and difficulties in defining the crime. It describes patterns and incidences of identity theft and mentions the primary sources of data that illuminates the extent and costs of this crime. It discusses those who are victimized by the crime and those who engage in it. This article offers two theoretical explanations for the reasons for committing identity theft by offenders. It details the common techniques used to locate information and convert it into cash or goods. Policy ideas, including existing legislation directed towards identity theft prevention, and the policy implications of current knowledge about identity theft are also discussed. Finally, the article outlines the need for future research to understand the crime of identity theft and thus increase the likelihood that policy makers and law enforcement are effective in reducing this crime.

Keywords: identity theft; crime; techniques; law enforcement; policy

Article.  10101 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Transactional Crime ; Corporate Crime ; Organised Crime

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