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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Robert E. Holtfreter and Kristy Holtfreter

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.

797

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2022

Axton Betz-Hamilton

Familiar identity theft, which occurs when an individual known to a victim steals his/her identity, is a common problem in the USA. The purpose of this study was to…

Abstract

Purpose

Familiar identity theft, which occurs when an individual known to a victim steals his/her identity, is a common problem in the USA. The purpose of this study was to understand familiar identity theft victims’ reporting behaviors using Black's (1976) theory of law as a conceptual framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 administrations of the National Crime Victimization Survey – Identity Theft Supplement. A series of cross-tabulations were conducted to examine the relationship between reporting behaviors and age, minority, gender, income, marital status and education. Fisher’s exact test was used to interpret the findings.

Findings

Key findings include older familiar identity theft victims who personally lost greater sums of money because of identity theft victimization were more likely to report to law enforcement than younger familiar identity theft victims who personally lost less money. Married familiar identity theft victims were less likely to report to law enforcement than those who were not married.

Originality/value

This study extends the work of Golladay (2017) to explore the reporting behaviors of a population of identity theft victims that have been largely overlooked in empirical literature.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

Benjamin K. Ngugi, Kuo-Ting Hung and Yuanxiang John Li

Tax Identity Theft involves the illegal use of a potential taxpayer’s identity, usually the social security number, to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund…

Abstract

Purpose

Tax Identity Theft involves the illegal use of a potential taxpayer’s identity, usually the social security number, to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. The victim is the real owner of the social security number who will have difficulties getting a tax refund, as the offender has already taken a refund for the year in question. This paper aims to investigate whether the increased use and adoption of electronic tax filing (i.e. E-Filing) technologies has inadvertently resulted in a corresponding growth in Tax Identity Theft.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple regressions are used to analyze the data that is extracted from the Identity Theft complaint reports (maintained by the Federal Trade Commission) and the tax filing statistics (retrieved from the Internal Revenue Service).

Findings

The results indicate that E-Filing can indirectly but significantly increase Tax Identity Theft through the full mediation effects of individual Self-E-Filing and Direct Deposit adoption, after controlling for general Identity Theft, the number of Individual Tax Returns and Total Refunds.

Originality/value

The authors explore the association between the adoption of tax e-filing technologies and Tax Identity Theft. The findings suggest that the key loopholes in the Tax Identity Theft process are at the Self-E-Filing and the Direct Deposit points. Several practical recommendations for patching these loopholes are provided and discussed.

Details

Information & Computer Security, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4961

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Norm Archer

The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumer behaviour as it relates to identity theft and fraud.

4927

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumer behaviour as it relates to identity theft and fraud.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data, this paper models the relationship between past experience of consumers and their levels of concern, and derives the principal components that make up consumer behaviours.

Findings

The components are physical prevention measures, account monitoring, agency monitoring, password security, and risky behaviour avoidance. These components were found to be almost orthogonal, implying that consumers tend to “buy into” a particular component of behaviour. The proposed model of consumer behaviour, while statistically significant, did not have high predictive value.

Research limitations/implications

The survey data used were collected without reference to the model used in this paper, which limits the efficacy of the model.

Practical implications

Consumers use all the behaviours in one component without regard to other components. This can leave “holes” in consumer defence against identity theft and fraud. Consumer education on identity theft and fraud needs to stress that consumers need to employ all behaviours that can minimise risk and loss.

Originality/value

This paper puts forward an initial model of consumer behaviours as it relates to identity theft and fraud. The derivation of the orthogonal components of behaviour is a new and important finding.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 February 2019

Abdullah Maitlo, Nisreen Ameen, Hamid Reza Peikari and Mahmood Shah

Knowledge-sharing (KS) for preventing identity theft has become a major challenge for organisations. The purpose of this paper is to fill a gap in the literature by…

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Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge-sharing (KS) for preventing identity theft has become a major challenge for organisations. The purpose of this paper is to fill a gap in the literature by investigating barriers to effective KS in preventing identity theft in online retail organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework was proposed based on a reconceptualisation and extension of the KS enablers framework (Chong et al., 2011). A qualitative case study research method was used for the data collection. In total, 34 semi-structured interviews were conducted in three online retail organisations in the UK.

Findings

The findings suggest that the major barriers to effective KS for preventing identify theft in online retail organisations are: lack of leadership support; lack of employee willingness to share knowledge; lack of employee awareness of KS; inadequate learning opportunities; lack of trust in colleagues; insufficient information-sourcing opportunities and information and communications technology infrastructure; a weak KS culture; lack of feedback on performance; and lack of job rotation.

Practical implications

The research provides solutions for removing existing barriers to KS in preventing identity theft. This is important to reduce the number of cases of identity theft in the UK.

Originality/value

This research extends knowledge of KS in a new context: preventing identity theft in online retail organisations. The proposed framework extends the KS enablers framework by identifying major barriers to KS in the context of preventing identity theft.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Ludek Seda

This study aims to explain what factors influence the relationship between the university students’ knowledge of the risk of identity theft and the preventive measures…

2143

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explain what factors influence the relationship between the university students’ knowledge of the risk of identity theft and the preventive measures they take.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of semi-structured interviews was used as the primary data collection tool. The sample for this study comprised 12 undergraduate students (six males and six females) from the Flinders Business School. The interviews were designed as face-to-face interviews.

Findings

The current findings indicate that, despite the fact that students were reasonably knowledgeable regarding the general risk of identity theft, many of the students had only limited knowledge about specific issues related to identity theft. It was found that the limited knowledge or misunderstanding of specific issues prevented students from using appropriate measures that could reduce the risk of identity theft. The students demonstrated a significant misunderstanding of who perpetrators typically were targeting when stealing personal information or what perpetrators of identity theft were looking for.

Originality/value

The results of the study contribute to a better understanding of the students’ knowledge about the risks associated with identity crime. They may also assist governments and other stakeholders with vested interests, such as financial institutions and educational providers, to educate individuals about the circumstances where they are potentially vulnerable to identity theft.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Chad Albrecht, Conan Albrecht and Shay Tzafrir

The purpose of this paper is to present and explain the identity theft cycle. The identity theft cycle explains how a perpetrator goes through various stages of confidence…

3148

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and explain the identity theft cycle. The identity theft cycle explains how a perpetrator goes through various stages of confidence and experimentation when stealing an individual's identity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a conceptual approach by first describing identity theft in detail and then discussing the seriousness of identity theft for consumers today. The paper then presents and explains the identity theft cycle in greater detail including the stages of discovery, action, and trial.

Findings

The paper provides evidence to suggest that if identity theft is detected early, consumers can protect themselves from the vast and difficult consequences of identity theft.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an important area of research by providing basic information about the nature of identity theft. This paper also discusses the various ways that perpetrators steal consumers' information, as well as teaches consumers how to proactively protect themselves from identity theft.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

George E. Higgins, Thomas “Tad” Hughes, Melissa L. Ricketts and Scott E. Wolfe

Identity theft is an emerging form of criminal behavior, with complaints about the behavior rising. However, little research has explored the correlates of these…

1032

Abstract

Purpose

Identity theft is an emerging form of criminal behavior, with complaints about the behavior rising. However, little research has explored the correlates of these complaints, especially state‐level correlates. The purpose of this paper is to examine the state‐level characteristics correlated with identity theft complaints.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study uses data collected from the 2000 US census and the Federal Trade Commission's 2002 through 2005 reports on identity theft. Regression is used to determine explain identity theft complaints through state‐level characteristics from social disorganization to routine activities theory.

Findings

The results indicate that states with more males, higher residential mobility, and more entertainment establishments are likely to have more identity theft complaints. States with more populations that are age 15 and below are less likely to have as many identity theft complaints.

Research limitations/implications

The present study only examines state‐level, macro data and does not take into account individual, micro‐level factors that are associated with identitytheft. This study provides an important advance in understanding identity theft complaint reports. This will aid policy makers in implementing strategies to reduce incidences of identity theft.

Originality/value

This paper is valuable to sociologists, criminologists, politicians, policy makers, and the general public. It contributes to the current understanding of identity theft by examining state‐level correlates.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 January 2020

Norah Ylang

This paper aims to examine demographic differences between individuals who do not take measures to protect themselves from identity theft victimization and those who do. A…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine demographic differences between individuals who do not take measures to protect themselves from identity theft victimization and those who do. A majority of the research on identity theft has focused on predictors of victimization, reporting behaviors of the victims and their health and mental outcomes. However, little remains known about the individuals who choose to take any identity-theft measures despite concerns over this fast-growing breed of crime.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by Felson and Cohen’s routine activities theoretical framework (1979), this study uses the 2014 Identity Theft Supplement of the National Crime Victimization Survey to identify the demographic characteristics that influence the use of self-protection measures among individuals in the general population.

Findings

This study finds that these individuals are much more likely to be white, older, female and highly educated. The decision to undertake protection against identity theft is also influenced by the following factors: prior experience of misuse, possession of a bank account in the prior 12 months, current possession of at least one credit card and awareness that one is entitled to a free copy of one’s credit report.

Originality/value

This study addresses the gap in scholarship on identity theft prevention by applying the concept of guardianship in Cohen and Felson’s routine activity theory (1979) to the usage of self-protection measures in a general population. Future findings will identify the areas which agencies and researchers can focus on to inform policies that foster individuals’ own initiatives to take self-protection measures against potential identity theft.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Jonathan Clough

The purpose of this paper is to consider potential criminal law responses to the global challenge of “identity crime”. In particular, it focuses on a specific offence of …

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider potential criminal law responses to the global challenge of “identity crime”. In particular, it focuses on a specific offence of “identity theft”. It begins with a discussion of the meaning of “identity” in the context of modern transactions, before defining “identity crime” and related terms. Legal responses are then considered before turning to the importance of harmonisation. The transnational nature of modern identity crimes makes it essential that law enforcement agencies not only have suitable offences at their disposal but also the frameworks to facilitate international cooperation.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the increasingly transnational and organized nature of modern identity crime, this paper adopts a comparative approach. It draws upon provisions from Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. It also looks at responses to identity crime at the regional and international level.

Findings

Although there is currently no international instrument which specifically and comprehensively addresses identity theft, it is argued that there is an urgent need for further international discussion as to the desirability and form of identity theft provisions. While international agreement may not be reached, such discussions are important in assisting countries to develop appropriate legal frameworks and capacity to address the modern fraud environment.

Originality/value

It is hoped that this paper will contribute to, and facilitate, important ongoing discussions as to the most effective ways in which to tackle identity crime at the national and international levels.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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