AbstractIdentity theft is made possible by the nature of modern payment systems. In the modern economy, sellers are willing to offer goods and services to strangers in exchange for a promise to pay, provided the promise is backed up by data that link the buyer to a specific account or credit history. Identity theft involves acquiring enough data about another person to counterfeit this link, enabling the thief to acquire goods while attributing the charge to another person's account. In this article, we discuss what is (and is not) known about the prevalence and cost of identity theft, describe the institutional framework in which identity theft takes place, and consider some of the main policy issues associated with the problem.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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- William Roberds & Stacey L. Schreft, 2009. "Data security, privacy, and identity theft: The economics behind the policy debates," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 22-30.
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