Identity Theft

identity theft, the use of one person's personal information by another to commit fraud or other crimes. The most common forms of identity theft occur when someone obtains another person's social security number, driver's license number, date of birth, and the like and uses it to open a fraudulent bank, credit card, cellular telephone, or other account, or to obtain false loans. Criminal identity theft, the most common nonfinancial type, occurs when someone gives another's personal information to a law enforcement officer when he or she is arrested. In addition to the financial losses resulting from identity theft, the person whose personal information has been used will have an erroneous credit or criminal history that is often expensive and time-consuming to correct. The occurrence of identity theft increased significantly beginning in the late 1990s due to the computerization of records and the ability to use another's personal information anonymously over the Internet.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Limits of Privacy
Amitai Etzioni.
Basic Books, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Identity Theft" begins on p. 108
The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose between Privacy and Freedom?
David Brin.
Perseus Books, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Three "Privacy under Siege"
Online Communication: Linking Technology, Identity, and Culture
Andrew F. Wood; Matthew J. Smith.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Protecting Identities in the Information Age" begins on p. 68
Who Rules the Net? Internet Governance and Jurisdiction
Adam Thierer; Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.
Cato Institute, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Privacy Protection and the Quest for Information Control"
Consumers' Protection of Online Privacy and Identity
Milne, George R.; Rohm, Andrew J.; Bahl, Shalini.
The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
IDENTITY THEFT : A Crime of Modern Times
Dutta, Sunil.
The World and I, Vol. 18, No. 10, October 2003
How Well Do Consumers Protect Themselves from Identity Theft?
Milne, George R.
The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 37, No. 2, Winter 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Stopping Identity Theft
Sovern, Jeff.
The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Identity Theft
Bielski, Lauren.
ABA Banking Journal, Vol. 93, No. 1, January 2001
The Role of Organizations in Identity Theft Response: The Organization-Individual Victim Dynamic
Lacey, David; Cuganesan, Suresh.
The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
It's Not Always about the Money: Why the State Identity Theft Laws Fail to Adequately Address Criminal Record Identity Theft
Perl, Michael W.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 94, No. 1, Fall 2003
Identity Theft Legislation: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 and the Road Not Taken
Linnhoff, Stefan; Langenderfer, Jeff.
The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
On Patrol in Cyberspace: A Look at Progress among Local, State, and Federal Efforts to Combat Cybercrime, Including Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft. (Computer Security)
Piazza, Peter.
Security Management, Vol. 47, No. 4, April 2003
ID Theft Overstated? Some Think So
O'Sullivan, Orla.
ABA Banking Journal, Vol. 96, No. 2, February 2004
Army Biometric Applications: Identifying and Addressing Sociocultural Concerns
John D. Woodward Jr.; Katharine W. Webb; Elaine M. Newton; Melissa Bradley; David Rubenson; Kristina Larson; Jacob Lilly; Katie Smythe; Brian Houghton; Harold A. Pincus; Jonathan M. Schachter; Paul Steinberg.
Rand, 2001
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