Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

Summer 2011


Identity theft -- Statistics -- United States, Crime, Deviant behavior


With advances in technology and increases in impersonal electronic transactions, identity theft IT) is becoming a major problem in today’s society. One may ask why IT is growing in America. The answer is simple, as a review of literature reveals: IT is extremely hard to detect, prevent, and prosecute.

There are many ways people can protect themselves, their identities and secure their personal information; many do not concern themselves with this knowledge, however, until they become victims of this crime, themselves. With advances in technology, offenders are often turning to new methods to access information and use it for financial gain or to hide their true identity. This is why it is imperative for people to be aware of these threats and use caution when providing personal information to anyone to protect themselves from becoming victims of IT.

This report seeks to provide a more clear understanding of the definition of IT, its prevalence, characteristics of the victims and offenders, as well as the myriad methods used to commit IT crimes. In addition, strategies for preventing IT will be discussed, including but not limited to transaction awareness and inter-agency collaboration


Portland State University, Summer 2011 - Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone Class:

Michelle Arno, Shari Burns, Karen Carlson, Chris Ehle, Elizabeth Everett, Shaun Feero, Andy Hasenkamp, Kirstina Imes, Eric Kilcup, Amanda Leavitt, Joseph Lim, Jerrod Marshall, Jessica Marshall, Rick Milteer, Bryan Morris, Elizabeth Perez, Jennifer Petty, Crystal Pleninger, Zainab Priest, Jonathan Ridge, Lindsay Roberson, Anna Rowley, Samantha Serpa, Jeremy Tallmadge and Timothy Veling

Persistent Identifier