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Identity Theft Bibliography Meaning

Research on identity theft is relatively new; despite this, several scholars have put together general reviews about what is known about theft crime. Many of the overviews of the crime come from government reports. Finklea 2010 is a comprehensive overview of identity theft for members of Congress. This review discusses definitions, trends, and legislative history of laws making it a crime. It is a good starting point for understanding identity theft, especially for those interested in legal attempts to control it. Newman and McNally 2005 reviews available literature on identity theft for the National Institute of Justice. It is the most comprehensive review of the crime to date. Others have reviewed literature on the crime for academic journals. Hoar 2001 is one of the earliest reviews of the crime. The author’s discussion emphasizes ways identity theft can be investigated and prosecuted. White and Fisher 2008 reviews the many challenges that hinder our ability to understand and control identity theft. Challenges its authors discuss include definitional problems, difficulty in discovering the crime, and inconsistencies in law enforcement responses to the crime. Stickley 2008 discusses many of the myths of identity theft. While journalistic, this book provides a good overview of the crime. Finally, Newman and McNally 2009 is a collection of articles written by top scholars in the field. These authors address such topics as definitional issues, victimization patterns, and potential Situational Crime Prevention programs to deter offenders. While not a general overview of the literature, it does provide a variety of articles that address many topics relating to identity theft.

  • Finklea, Kristin M. 2010. Identity theft: Trends and issues. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

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    This congressional report provides a comprehensive overview of the definitions of identity theft, legislative history in the United States, trends in identity theft (e.g., perpetrators, investigations, and impact), and data breaches. Ideal for those interested primarily in legislative responses to identity theft in the United States.

  • Hoar, Sean B. 2001. Identity theft: The crime of the new millennium. Oregon Law Review 80:1423–1442.

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    One of the earliest attempts at articulating the nature of identity theft. Discusses definitions of identity theft, how it occurs, ways it can be investigated and prosecuted, and how it can be prevented.

  • Newman, Graeme R., and Megan M. McNally. 2005. Identity theft literature review. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

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    Provides the most detailed literature review of identity theft. Useful as an initial source when beginning a project. It includes discussions of the extent, patterning, and costs of identity theft and law enforcement responses to it.

  • Newman, Graeme R., and Megan M. McNally. 2009. Perspectives on identity theft. Crime Prevention Studies 23. New York: Criminal Justice Press.

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    A collection of articles about identity theft. The articles bring together top scholars on the topic. Includes discussions that explore definitional issues, victim profiles, and potential policy and Crime Prevention measures.

  • Stickley, Jim. 2008. The truth about identity theft. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.

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    A journalistic account of identity theft that provides a great deal of information about how various types of identity thieves get identifying information, how effective security is, how identity theft impacts victims, and how it can be prevented.

  • White, Michael, and Christopher Fisher. 2008. Assessing our knowledge of identity theft: The challenges to effective prevention and control efforts. Criminal Justice Policy Review 19:3–24.

    DOI: 10.1177/0887403407306297E-mail Citation »

    Discusses many of the challenges that hinder our understanding and control of identity theft. The authors discuss such issues as problems defining the crime, discovering victimization and reporting it, inconsistent responses from law enforcement, and the limitations of existing data.

  • Identity monitors scan personally identifiable information in credit applications, public records, websites, and other places for any unusual activity that could be signs of identity theft.

    Some services may help you correct problems if identity theft occurs. They may also offer identity theft insurance generally covering:

    • Certain out-of-pocket losses
    • Chat room monitoring
    • Public record searches
    • Monitoring of black market websites
    • Virus protection software

    They often include a credit monitoring service that monitors your credit history and provides periodic credit scores.

    Prices and services offered by identity monitors vary widely. The cost of identity monitoring services varies from as little as a few dollars a month to over $15 per month.


    Before signing up for a service, make sure you understand what you’re getting. This is particularly important when you’re offered a “free” service. Before accepting a “free” offer, check for any hidden trial periods, fees or cancellation requirements. Also check with your local consumer protection agency and State Attorney General’s office to see if complaints have been filed against the company.

    You should be aware that free and low cost services are also available to protect consumers including:

    A security freeze. Putting a security freeze on your credit report will generally prevent new credit from being opened in your name. Just remember that if you put a security freeze on your credit file, you’ll need to unfreeze your file before you can open new accounts in your name.

    Each state has its own rules about credit freezes and how much you pay for them. In most states, you can file a security freeze for less than $10, and if you are an identity theft victim, you typically can place a freeze for free.

    A fraud alert. If you believe that you’ve been the victim of identity theft or fraud (or are about to become one), you can place a fraud alert on your credit report. Note that a fraud alert does not prevent a lender from opening credit in your name, but it does require a lender to take certain measures to verify your identity first.


    You can request a free credit report from a nationwide credit reporting company once every 12 months. By requesting the reports separately, you can monitor your credit files at no cost more frequently throughout the year.  Some credit card companies now are providing a credit score on your credit card statement, which is another free way to monitor aspects of your credit.


    If you have a problem with credit reporting, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online.

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