Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Identity Theft

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_320


Each year millions of people worldwide have their identities stolen or misused. As a result of these illegal actions, businesses and consumers lose an estimated $16 billion to $50 billion per year. Information available from public and private agencies that collect data on identity theft suggests that the crime is becoming more common and more costly. Indeed, many have referred to identity theft as the “fastest-growing crime in America.” Not surprisingly, citizens worldwide have become concerned about falling victim to identity theft and fraud. These fears have led to a watershed of protective legislation and have stimulated private investors to develop monitoring and preventative products for identity protection. Consumers spend billions of dollars a year on credit monitoring, fraud alerts, and information monitoring to protect their personal information from theft and fraud. In fact, credit monitoring services alone are approaching a billion dollars a year in sales (Lieber 2009...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA