Gauging the effectiveness of US identity theft legislation

Robert E. Holtfreter, Kristy Reisig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose To examine identity theft in the United States and to provide an overview and assessment of recent legislation designed to assist identity theft victims and punish offenders. Design/methodology/approach Statistics on the prevalence of identity theft are included, as well as details from a fact-based, fairly typical case of identify theft. An overview of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Identity Theft Penalty Act (ITPEA) are provided, and the provisions of each act are analyzed. Findings It will take time to determine to what extent the provisions in FACTA and ITPEA will prevent or reduce identity theft. No doubt, in the future, there will amendments to both acts. Research limitations/implications Future empirical studies could inform all interested parties by examining the impact of the FACTA and ITPEA over a multi-year time frame. Moreover, cross-cultural comparisons focusing on the ways in which other nations address identity theft will also shed light on the issues discussed herein. Originality/value The topic of identity theft remains salient to researchers as well as criminal justice practitioners and victim advocates. Public education to increase knowledge of identity theft, and to provide information and resources for victims, will be critical in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Financial Crime
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Crimes
  • Fraud
  • Laws and legislation
  • Theft
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Law


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