A Master Thesis
Submitted to the Faculty
American Public University
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
Master of Science
American Public University
Charles Town, WV
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ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS
American Public University System, July 7 2018
Charles Town, West Virginia
Identity theft has grown to become a widespread problem in modern times. Based on the National Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 17.6 million individuals above sixteen years old had been affected by identity theft, in the year 2014 alone (What is Identity Theft: Facts and Information, n.d.). In that same year, the Federal Trade Commission reported that it had received more than three hundred thousand identity theft grievances. This constituted about 13% of the entire grievances reported in that year (identity theft, n.d.). Identity theft involves a wide range of illegalities such as a stealing a wallet and breaching an institution-wide database. In order to stay protected, it is critical for an individual to identify the collective causes, cautionary signs and ways of preventing identity theft.
Social and technological elements are the key aspects that have made identity theft so widespread. Social engineering has significantly been used by identity thieves to establish and capitalize from the behaviors of different individuals especially in the various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (Identity Theft). The identity thieves then use this personal information to commit ID scams, financial scams, tax scams, health scams and other systematized crimes like money laundering, illegal immigration and terrorism (Hedayati, 2012). Identity theft can either be undertaken physically or technologically. The physical methods they use are more traditional and they can involve insider embezzlement and mail theft. More than 70% of identity thefts are carried out by insiders, hence it is very critical for institutions to be well aware and protected from such threats (Reyns, 2013).
Hedayati, A. (2012). An analysis of identity theft: Motives, related frauds,. Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution , 1-12.
identity theft. (n.d.). Retrieved from Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
Identity Theft. (n.d.). Retrieved from techopedia: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/13637/identity-theft
Reyns, B. W. (2013). Online routines and identity theft victimization: Further expanding routine activity theory beyond direct-contact offenses. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 216-238.
What is Identity Theft: Facts and Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from True Identity : https://www.trueidentity.com/identity-theft-resource/identity-theft-definition