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Fraud and Identity Theft

  • Publications (14)
  • Resources (61)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (3)
  • Funding (2)
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Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

What We Know About Identity Theft and Fraud Victims From Research- and Practice-Based Evidence (August 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 36 pages, NCJ 253627.
This report compiles research about identity theft and fraud victimization. The report covers research on topics including the prevalence of identity theft and fraud; risk and protective factors; and prevention, intervention, and victim services.
Abstract | PDF
 
Research Brief: Identity Theft and Fraud (March 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 252720.
This fact sheet provides a comprehensive review of research on identity theft and fraud. The research brief describes services available to victims and important areas where field needs to grow.
Abstract | PDF
 
2018 Financial Crime Statistical Fact Sheet (2018) OVC
This fact sheet provides a snapshot of current financial crime trends in the United States. Use this and other fact sheets from the 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide (www.ovc.gov/ncvrw2018) to promote awareness about different types of crime, as graphics for your social media, and to inform other education efforts throughout the year.
PDF
 
Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review Multidisciplinary Team in Your Community (May 2017) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 250736.
This resource facilitates the development and growth of multidisciplinary teams to address elder abuse cases. It also provides information about team structures and functions, along with common issues that arise with developing a case review team.
Abstract | HTML
 
Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, NCJ 248389.
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

Victims of Identity Theft, 2016 (January 2019) BJS, Bulletin, BJS Bulletins, 28 pages, NCJ 251147.
This report presents data on the prevalence and nature of identity theft against persons age 16 or older in 2016, including how victims discovered the crime; financial losses and other consequences; reporting the incident to credit card companies, credit bureaus, and police; the level of distress experienced by victims; lifetime prevalence rates of identity theft; and preventive action taken to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Part Of the BJS Bulletins Series Abstract | PDF (Summary) | PDF (Full Report)
 
Exploring Elder Financial Exploitation Victimization: Identifying Unique Risk Profiles and Factors To Enhance Detection, Prevention and Intervention (March 2017) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 65 pages, NCJ 250756.
This study explores risk factors across the socioecological framework (i.e. individual, perpetrator, and community-levels) to identify the most important factors that differentiate elder financial exploitation from other forms of abuse as well as pure versus hybrid financial exploitation.
Abstract | PDF
 
Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541.
This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
Abstract | PDF
 
Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2005-2010 (November 2011) BJS, Report, 11 pages, NCJ 236245.
This brief examines changes in the percentage of households experiencing identity theft from 2005 to 2010 based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). It describes differences in the types of identity theft experienced by households in 2010 compared to 2005, as well as changes in the demographic characteristics of victimized households. The brief also presents estimates on the monetary losses attributed to household victims of identity theft.
Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 
Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2007 - Statistical Tables (June 2010) BJS, 5 pages, NCJ 230742.
This resource presents data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on identity theft victimization reported by households. These statistical tables provide 2007 data on rates and types of identity theft, as well as demographic characteristics of victimized households and their monetary losses.
Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 

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Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention

On May 28 2014 at 2:00PM, Hazel Heckers, Victim Advocate, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and founder of the Identify Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado (ITAN), and Merry O'Brien, Project Director, National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Project, hosted a discussion on Creating an Effective Identity Theft Coalition

On Mar 26 2014 at 2:00PM, Joshua Bailes, Esq., Program Manager and Referral Specialist for the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Crime Victim Bar Associatio, and Christine Kieffer, Senior Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, hosted a discussion on Helping Victims of Financial Fraud

On Jul 24 2013 at 2:00PM, Debbie Deem, Federal Bureau of Investigation Victim Specialist, and Theresa Ronnebaum, Identity Theft Victim Services Program Specialist for the Florida Office of the Attorney General, hosted a discussion on Addressing ID Theft Cases With Large Numbers of Victims

On Apr 10 2013 at 2:00PM, Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law, and Catherine Heath, a Child and Family Program Specialist at the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Toporoff, an attorney for the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), hosted a discussion on Child Welfare Agencies Responding to Child Identity Theft

Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


How can I order OVC publications and products?
Many OVC publications and products are available in hardcopy and can be ordered from the National Cr... Read More

I am a victim of identity theft. What can I do?
The Federal Trade Commission's IdentityTheft.gov website provides a comprehensive collection of reso... Read More

What is Vision 21?
The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand th... Read More

More FAQs

Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


OVC FY 2020 Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims (PDF 317 kb)
Deadline: 05/11/2020
The goal of this program is to provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to more effectively identify elder fraud victims, allowing law enforcement both to bring the fraudsters to justice and to connect those victims with available services. This program will support the provision of training and technical assistance to both large and small law enforcement agencies in both urban and rural communities. OVC anticipates making up to one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by May 11, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/05/2020
OVC is seeking applications to implement projects intended to improve outcomes, minimize additional trauma, and restore safety and security to older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation. OVC anticipates making up to 12 awards up to $500,000. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 5, 2020.

More Funding Opportunities

Identity theft and identity fraud refer to types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another individual's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Personal data—such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and bank account or credit card numbers—can be used by someone to personally profit at the victim's expense and are even used to commit crimes under the victim’s name. Technological breakthroughs and the globalization of commerce have provided today’s con artists with a new arsenal of weapons they use to defraud consumers.

 

The following resources address the topics of fraud and identity theft and identify ways to recognize and report these crimes. They also provide tips for how individuals can reduce their risk of becoming victims.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

What We Know About Identity Theft and Fraud Victims From Research- and Practice-Based Evidence (August 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 36 pages, NCJ 253627. This report compiles research about identity theft and fraud victimization. The report covers research on topics including the prevalence of identity theft and fraud; risk and protective factors; and prevention, intervention, and victim services.
Abstract | PDF
 
Research Brief: Identity Theft and Fraud (March 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 252720. This fact sheet provides a comprehensive review of research on identity theft and fraud. The research brief describes services available to victims and important areas where field needs to grow.
Abstract | PDF
 
2018 Financial Crime Statistical Fact Sheet (2018) OVC This fact sheet provides a snapshot of current financial crime trends in the United States. Use this and other fact sheets from the 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide (www.ovc.gov/ncvrw2018) to promote awareness about different types of crime, as graphics for your social media, and to inform other education efforts throughout the year.
PDF
 
Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review Multidisciplinary Team in Your Community (May 2017) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 250736. This resource facilitates the development and growth of multidisciplinary teams to address elder abuse cases. It also provides information about team structures and functions, along with common issues that arise with developing a case review team.
Abstract | HTML
 
Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, NCJ 248389. National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

Victims of Identity Theft, 2016 (January 2019) BJS, Bulletin, BJS Bulletins, 28 pages, NCJ 251147. This report presents data on the prevalence and nature of identity theft against persons age 16 or older in 2016, including how victims discovered the crime; financial losses and other consequences; reporting the incident to credit card companies, credit bureaus, and police; the level of distress experienced by victims; lifetime prevalence rates of identity theft; and preventive action taken to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Part Of the BJS Bulletins Series
Abstract | PDF (Summary) | PDF (Full Report)
 
Exploring Elder Financial Exploitation Victimization: Identifying Unique Risk Profiles and Factors To Enhance Detection, Prevention and Intervention (March 2017) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 65 pages, NCJ 250756. This study explores risk factors across the socioecological framework (i.e. individual, perpetrator, and community-levels) to identify the most important factors that differentiate elder financial exploitation from other forms of abuse as well as pure versus hybrid financial exploitation.
Abstract | PDF
 
Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541. This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
Abstract | PDF
 
Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2005-2010 (November 2011) BJS, Report, 11 pages, NCJ 236245. This brief examines changes in the percentage of households experiencing identity theft from 2005 to 2010 based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). It describes differences in the types of identity theft experienced by households in 2010 compared to 2005, as well as changes in the demographic characteristics of victimized households. The brief also presents estimates on the monetary losses attributed to household victims of identity theft.
Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 
Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2007 - Statistical Tables (June 2010) BJS, 5 pages, NCJ 230742. This resource presents data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on identity theft victimization reported by households. These statistical tables provide 2007 data on rates and types of identity theft, as well as demographic characteristics of victimized households and their monetary losses.
Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

National Elder Fraud Hotline
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, we encourage you to call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 (833–372–8311). Professional case managers will assist you with reporting the crime and connect you with other resources as needed. The hotline is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern time. Services are available for speakers of English, Spanish, and other languages.
 
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network
This OVC-funded program seeks to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to assist victims of identity theft and cybercrime. This national network seeks to build capacity to provide assistance to victims of these crimes and encourage the expansion of existing victim service programs and coalitions.
 
Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft
OVC and the Federal Trade Commission held a forum in 2011 to discuss child identity theft. Read transcripts from forum sessions which explored the nature of child identity theft - including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families - with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems.
 
VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential referrals for crime victims
VictimConnect serves victims of any crime in the United States. Trained specialists are available to help you locate referrals for mental health counseling, financial compensation, legal services, civil justice options, support groups, crime reporting, identity theft recovery and more.
 

Federal Resources

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection: Frauds and Scams
The Bureau works to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law. This resource page provides guidance to help you prevent, recognize, and report scams and fraud.
 
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Child Identity Theft
This FTC website offers informative steps to help parents avoid, recognize, and repair the damage caused by child identity theft.
 
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Protecting Your Child's Personal Information at School
In the wrong hands, the personal information on school forms can be used to commit fraud in your child's name — to apply for government benefits, open credit card accounts, or apply for a loan. This site provides information on how you can help protect your child's identity.
 
NCJRS: Fraud Awareness Special Feature
In an effort to educate businesses and the public about the growing impact of fraud, as well as to promote basic steps that can be taken to recognize, report, and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraudulent activities, NCJRS presents this online compilation of resources addressing the topic.
 
NCJRS: Internet Safety Special Feature
The NCJRS Internet Safety Special Feature presents a compilation of resources on internet safety for children and consumers, internet privacy, and cyberbullying.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Links
This section of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud is a portal to access a variety of sites related to insurance fraud.
 
Identity Theft Resource Center: Organizing Your Case
This site provides information about how identity theft victims can be effectively organize their case.
 
State Attorney Generals Office Contact Information
This section of the National Association of Attorneys General Web site provides contact information for the attorney general of each state/territory in the U.S.
 
TransUnion
TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus along with Equifax and Experian. Victims of identity theft and individuals who suspect they might be victims can contact the TransUnion fraud department to place a fraud alert on their credit report.
 
When Your Child's Identity is Stolen
This site provides information on how to protect your child's identity, provides information on signs that your child's identity may have been stolen, and what to do if your child is an identity theft victim.
 

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Web Forum Discussions

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention

On May 28 2014 at 2:00PM, Hazel Heckers, Victim Advocate, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and founder of the Identify Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado (ITAN), and Merry O'Brien, Project Director, National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Project, hosted a discussion on Creating an Effective Identity Theft Coalition

On Mar 26 2014 at 2:00PM, Joshua Bailes, Esq., Program Manager and Referral Specialist for the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Crime Victim Bar Associatio, and Christine Kieffer, Senior Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, hosted a discussion on Helping Victims of Financial Fraud

On Jul 24 2013 at 2:00PM, Debbie Deem, Federal Bureau of Investigation Victim Specialist, and Theresa Ronnebaum, Identity Theft Victim Services Program Specialist for the Florida Office of the Attorney General, hosted a discussion on Addressing ID Theft Cases With Large Numbers of Victims

On Apr 10 2013 at 2:00PM, Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law, and Catherine Heath, a Child and Family Program Specialist at the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Toporoff, an attorney for the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), hosted a discussion on Child Welfare Agencies Responding to Child Identity Theft


FAQs

How can I order OVC publications and products?
Many OVC publications and products are available in hardcopy and can be ordered from the National Cr... Read More

I am a victim of identity theft. What can I do?
The Federal Trade Commission's IdentityTheft.gov website provides a comprehensive collection of reso... Read More

What is Vision 21?
The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand th... Read More

Back to Top


Funding

OVC FY 2020 Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims (PDF 317 kb)
Deadline: 05/11/2020
The goal of this program is to provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to more effectively identify elder fraud victims, allowing law enforcement both to bring the fraudsters to justice and to connect those victims with available services. This program will support the provision of training and technical assistance to both large and small law enforcement agencies in both urban and rural communities. OVC anticipates making up to one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by May 11, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/05/2020
OVC is seeking applications to implement projects intended to improve outcomes, minimize additional trauma, and restore safety and security to older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation. OVC anticipates making up to 12 awards up to $500,000. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 5, 2020.

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