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Fraud and Identity Theft

  • Publications (14)
  • Resources (59)
  • 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

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
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 60 pages, NCJ 239957.
The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 

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.


FY 2019 Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Mobilizing Attorneys for Older Victims of Abuse & Financial Exploitation (PDF 480 kb)
Deadline: 07/15/2019
This program will provide increased legal services for older victims of crime (particularly in rural areas), educate attorneys and allied professionals about the needs of older victims, and increase coordinated multidisciplinary responses in supporting older victims of crime. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on June 24, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 15, 2019.


FY 2019 Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 1,003 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
OVC is seeking applications for funding to support the development and/or enhancement of multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and to strengthen the capacity of "enhanced MDTs" to better identify and respond to cases of abuse and more comprehensively serve and support victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation by also funding a National Elder Abuse Training and Technical Assistance Center. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on June 17, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.

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

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
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 60 pages, NCJ 239957. The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 

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 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

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.
 
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
Through cooperation and partnerships, FinCEN combats money laundering domestically and internationally.
 
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)
NCEA is a resource for public and private agencies, professionals, service providers, and individuals interested in elder abuse prevention information, training, technical assistance, and research.
 
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.
 
U.S. Administration on Aging
This agency promotes the well-being of older individuals - including protection from elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation - by providing services and programs designed to help them live independently in their homes and communities.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Anti-Phishing Working Group
APWG is focused on eliminating the fraud and identity theft that result from phishing, pharming and email spoofing of all types.
 
National Association of Attorneys General
NAAG’s mission is to facilitate interaction among Attorneys General as peers and to facilitate the enhanced performance of Attorneys General and their staffs. This organization also hosts the supervises the activities of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units which serves as a forum for the nationwide sharing of information concerning the problems of Medicaid fraud control.
 
National Check Fraud Center
The center provides assistance, information, and crime reporting information for counterfeit checks, forgery, check fraud, bank fraud, and white collar crimes.
 
National Council on Aging: Savvy Saving Seniors
This site provides seniors with information on how to budget, avoid scams, apply for benefits, and manage prepaid debit cards which can help them stay secure and independent longer.
 
Opt Out Prescreen
Register with this Web site to stop unsolicited credit or insurance offers. You may also call 1-888-567-8688.
 

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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

FY 2019 Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Mobilizing Attorneys for Older Victims of Abuse & Financial Exploitation (PDF 480 kb)
Deadline: 07/15/2019
This program will provide increased legal services for older victims of crime (particularly in rural areas), educate attorneys and allied professionals about the needs of older victims, and increase coordinated multidisciplinary responses in supporting older victims of crime. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on June 24, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 15, 2019.


FY 2019 Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 1,003 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
OVC is seeking applications for funding to support the development and/or enhancement of multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and to strengthen the capacity of "enhanced MDTs" to better identify and respond to cases of abuse and more comprehensively serve and support victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation by also funding a National Elder Abuse Training and Technical Assistance Center. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on June 17, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) 45th Annual Training Event
Phoenix, AZ
07/22/2019-07/25/2019

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.