Identity Theft: Available Data Indicate Growth in Prevalence and Cost

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Identity theft involves "stealing" another person's personal identifying information, such as their Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, or mother's maiden name, and using it to fraudulently establish credit, run up debt, or take over existing financial accounts. The prevalence and cost of identity theft seem to be increasing. Recently introduced bills seek to prevent identity theft and enforce laws prohibiting identity theft. Since May 1998, various actions--particularly passage of federal and state statutes--have been taken to address identity theft. Precise, statistical measurement of identity theft trends ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. February 14, 2002.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Identity theft involves "stealing" another person's personal identifying information, such as their Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, or mother's maiden name, and using it to fraudulently establish credit, run up debt, or take over existing financial accounts. The prevalence and cost of identity theft seem to be increasing. Recently introduced bills seek to prevent identity theft and enforce laws prohibiting identity theft. Since May 1998, various actions--particularly passage of federal and state statutes--have been taken to address identity theft. Precise, statistical measurement of identity theft trends is difficult for several reasons. Federal law enforcement agencies lack information systems to track identity theft cases. Also, identity theft almost always accompanies white-collar or financial crimes, such as bank fraud, credit card or access device fraud, or the use of counterfeit financial instruments. Data sources, such as consumer complaints and hotline allegations, can be used as proxies for gauging the prevalence of identity theft. Law enforcement investigations and prosecutions of identity theft-related crimes, such as bank and credit card fraud, also provide data."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 14, 2002

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Identity Theft: Available Data Indicate Growth in Prevalence and Cost, text, February 14, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289577/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.