Stages of Identity Crime

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Stages of Identity Crime

When initiating an investigation of identity crime, it may be helpful to consider the four major stages of the crime:

Crime Stage What Happens What the victim May/May Not Notice
Victim’s information is collected by the criminal (theft) Victim’s personal information and identity are compromised.
  • Lost wallet, purse, credit card, driver’s license, luggage, passport, etc.
  • Credit card, mortgage, bank statement or other bill missing from or never received in the mail
  • Had wallet or purse stolen, car/house broken into
  • Personal computer security has been compromised
  • Company that had its data breached notifies the victim
Criminal converts that information Information becomes new false identity.
  • No noticeable event
The information is passed along The victim’s identity is attached to a new individual.
  • Not noticeable until used
The new identity is put to use (fraud) The identity is used for committing fraud and other crimes.
  • Contacted by debt collectors
  • Funds are missing from checking or savings accounts
  • Fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc.
  • New accounts they did not open appear on their credit report, or they receive the bills
  • Arrested for crime they didn’t commit

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Stages of Identity Crime

When initiating an investigation of identity crime, it may be helpful to consider the four major stages of the crime:

Crime Stage What Happens What the victim May/May Not Notice
Victim’s information is collected by the criminal (theft) Victim’s personal information and identity are compromised.
  • Lost wallet, purse, credit card, driver’s license, luggage, passport, etc.
  • Credit card, mortgage, bank statement or other bill missing from or never received in the mail
  • Had wallet or purse stolen, car/house broken into
  • Personal computer security has been compromised
  • Company that had its data breached notifies the victim
Criminal converts that information Information becomes new false identity.
  • No noticeable event
The information is passed along The victim’s identity is attached to a new individual.
  • Not noticeable until used
The new identity is put to use (fraud) The identity is used for committing fraud and other crimes.
  • Contacted by debt collectors
  • Funds are missing from checking or savings accounts
  • Fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc.
  • New accounts they did not open appear on their credit report, or they receive the bills
  • Arrested for crime they didn’t commit