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D5.2b: ID-related Crime: Towards a Common Ground for Interdisciplinary Research

Economic Aspects  Title:
 Technical Aspects



In many countries, identity fraud is the fastest growing type of fraud, and in some it is even the fastest growing type of crime. Identity theft, though not at present a crime in itself, is a breeder offence which usually leads to other criminal activity. Many of the impacts of identity theft affect both individuals and companies. Victims may suffer financial loss, damage to reputation and loss of credit rating leading to denial of loans. Many hours may be spent trying to undo the damage, and in some cases the effects may not be reversible. In extreme cases, identity theft has led to individuals being wrongfully arrested and prosecuted. Everyone is susceptible to identity theft and it therefore has a widespread social impact. 

Economic costs extend well beyond the reported figures. Other costs identified include the unreported and undiscovered financial losses, the damage to consumer confidence in online transactions and therefore the loss of potential business, the cost of crimes other than identity fraud perpetrated on the basis of identity theft, the cost of discovery and investigation and the cost of resolving the problems created by the theft or fraud. There are a number of reasons why identity theft is a challenging problem to tackle. In some cases there is a lack of incentives for the parties in possession of identity data to secure the data adequately. From an individual perspective, there is a lack of awareness about the negative utility that can arise from identity theft. The Internet and the increasing importance of electronic transactions exacerbate the problem as it becomes easier for an identity thief to carry out fraud.  


Economic Aspects  fidis-wp5-del5.2b.ID-related_crime_03.sxw  Technical Aspects
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