To examine identity theft in the United States and to provide an overview and assessment of recent legislation designed to assist identity theft victims and punish offenders.
Statistics on the prevalence of identity theft are included, as well as details from a fact‐based, fairly typical case of identify theft. An overview of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Identity Theft Penalty Act (ITPEA) are provided, and the provisions of each act are analyzed.
It will take time to determine to what extent the provisions in FACTA and ITPEA will prevent or reduce identity theft. No doubt, in the future, there will amendments to both acts.
Future empirical studies could inform all interested parties by examining the impact of the FACTA and ITPEA over a multi‐year time frame. Moreover, cross‐cultural comparisons focusing on the ways in which other nations address identity theft will also shed light on the issues discussed herein.
The topic of identity theft remains salient to researchers as well as criminal justice practitioners and victim advocates. Public education to increase knowledge of identity theft, and to provide information and resources for victims, will be critical in the future.
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