Abstract and Keywords
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.