Heith Copes and Lynne Vieraitis
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.
Lynne Vieraitis and Amny Shuraydi
Often cited as one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States and abroad, identity theft continues to be of great concern to the public. It is a crime that is difficult to control and has become increasingly complex as offenders adapt to target hardening by consumers and businesses and identify new sources of data containing personally identifying information. The purpose of this essay is to provide readers with an overview of identity theft, including what is currently known about the trends and patterns of identity theft, information on offenders and victims, as well as the methods used by identity thieves to steal and convert personally identifying information for financial gain.
Michael Levi and Peter Reuter
Money laundering is a very modern crime created by the late twentieth-century state to enlist the financial sector in its search of the proceeds of crime and prevention of career criminality, particularly transnational crime. This article presents examples that illustrate the variety of methods available and kind of persons involved, along with some classifications. It discusses the relationship of money laundering to corruption control and analyzes the effects of anti-money laundering controls. It provides a brief assessment of the consequences of the control system. A broad and intrusive set of controls has been erected to prevent money laundering. The system generates substantial crime or corruption control benefits which must be high on the agenda of the relevant policy-making community.
This article examines current U.S. organized crime control policy and its attendant practices in light of some recent criticisms. It requires the establishment the nature and character of criminal organizations and organized crime that might require special means for combating them and costs associated with their use. It also discusses the efficacy of the various tools in U.S. policy for combating organized crime. It explores cross-national comparative research and evaluation possibilities and also deals with risks and moral hazards inherent in particular organized crime control strategies and policies justifiable when weighed against their demonstrated effectiveness. This article ends up with the need of much greater collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to understand better organized crime and to improve the effectiveness of methods to combat it. Much more attention must be devoted to prevention-oriented approaches to organized crime.