Identity Theft Research Review: Conclusions and Recommendations

This study not only identified the available research on identity theft, it also identified in great detail the many areas where research is still needed. The issue of reporting and recording identity theft by local police departments emerged as a major issue in need of research:

The imbalance ... of research that has focused on victims as against research on the actual criminal justice response to identity theft should be corrected. [1]

The researchers discuss the nearly inconceivable specter of having to handle 9 million identify theft cases within the criminal justice system and suggest that the best approach to the problem is prevention. More research needs to be done concerning the role that government can play to this end, through task forces and other partnerships. See Issues That Need More Research: Identity Theft Prevention.

Another key recommendation is that researchers separate out the many crimes that are lumped together as identity theft, i.e., credit card fraud, account takeover, "phishing," database theft, etc. and examine these crimes from the point of view of the three stages of identity theft (the initial offense of acquiring the personal information; the identity theft crime or crimes, i.e., fraud; and the outcomes, which are likely to be multiple). [2]

The report concludes with a table showing detailed assessment of research needs pdf broken out by focus and potential benefit from the research.


[1] Full Report, p. 74. pdf

[2] Full Report, Breaking down identity theft into its component parts, p. 75 pdf.

Date Created: June 7, 2010