Reporting Behaviors of Familiar Identity Theft Victims: An Empirical Test of Black’s Theory of Law

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Familiar identity theft, which occurs when an individual known to a victim steals his/her identity, is a common problem in the USA. The purpose of this study was to understand familiar identity theft victims’ reporting behaviors using Black's (1976) theory of law as a conceptual framework.

Data were obtained from the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 administrations of the National Crime Victimization Survey – Identity Theft Supplement. A series of cross-tabulations were conducted to examine the relationship between reporting behaviors and age, minority, gender, income, marital status and education. Fisher’s exact test was used to interpret the findings.

Findings Key findings include older familiar identity theft victims who personally lost greater sums of money because of identity theft victimization were more likely to report to law enforcement than younger familiar identity theft victims who personally lost less money. Married familiar identity theft victims were less likely to report to law enforcement than those who were not married.

This study extends the work of Golladay (2017) to explore the reporting behaviors of a population of identity theft victims that have been largely overlooked in empirical literature.

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Journal of Financial Crime

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