The NGA Center hosted a webcast on the state role in combating identity theft. The webcast, made possible through a partnership with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), reviewed the nature and scope of identity theft and addressed questions such as: What is identity theft and how prevalent is it? How, when, and where does it occur? Who commits it? What are challenges to preventing it from happening?
The webcast also explored actions states can take to improve how they collect, analyze, and share information about identity theft, as well as identified effective policy responses states can use to fight it.
- Lisa Schifferle, attorney, Federal Trade Commission
- Erin Kenneally, founder and CEO, Elchemy, Inc.
- Jaimee Napp, visiting fellow, U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime
- Detective First Lieutenant Marty Bugbee, commander, Michigan State Police, Information Sharing Environment Section
National Crime Victimization Survey Supplement: Victims of Identity Theft, 2008
The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a special report in December 2010 that reviews the overall number, percentage, and demographic characteristics of victims who reported at least one type of identity theft during a two-year period ending in 2008. The report details the victims' direct and indirect financial losses; the time spent resolving problems related to the identity theft; the percentage of victims who reported the theft to credit card companies, credit bureaus, and law enforcement agencies; and the level of distress felt by identity theft victims.
National Institute of Justice Identity Theft Research Review
The National Institute of Justice sponsored a study that drew from available scientific studies and other sources to assess what is known about identity theft and what further research is needed. The researchers found the following:
- Although anyone is potentially vulnerable to identity theft, individuals are more likely to be victimized by family members or persons with whom they share living quarters;
- Identity theft generally involves three stages: acquisition, use, and discovery. The longer it takes to discover the theft, the greater the loss incurred and the smaller likelihood of successful prosecution;
- Major facilitators of identity theft include access to personal information about potential victims and the anonymity the internet offers; and
- The extent of harm to victims and society at large remains unknown.
Combating Identity Theft: A Strategic Plan
In 2007, the President's Identity Theft Task Force crafted a strategic plan to make the federal government more effective and efficient at preventing, detecting, and prosecuting identity theft. The report provides an overview of the problem of identity theft, and many of its recommendations can be applied at the state level.
Expanding Services to Reach Victims of Identity Theft and Financial Fraud
The Office of Victims of Crime provides this online resource to prepare victim service providers to help victims of identity theft and financial fraud. The publication includes a number of practical tools for developing an intake process and case handling protocols; training staff, pro bono attorneys, law enforcement, and other professionals; and staging an effective public awareness outreach campaign.
OVC Web Forum Discussions on ID Theft
The HELP for Victim Service Providers message board is hosted by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), which provides leadership and funding on behalf of crime victims. OVC developed this resource as a tool for victim service providers and allied professionals to share ideas, suggestions, and recommendations concerning promising practices, best practices, and victim issues. Each month the Nation's experts answer questions about best practices in victim services.