Critical analysis on the issue on Identity Theft in the United States

Identity Theft


Identity theft is an issue, which is often heard in most new channels, and it has affected quite a number of American individuals. The scope of this paper will cover the issue of identity theft in the United States as well as how congress is involved in this matter. Also, it will give an analytical research on this issue in aspects that deal with identity theft trends. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, identity theft is a crime that is fast growing. Furthermore, in an annual basis, there are around 700,000 American citizens affected by it. Identity theft is recognized as being a federal crime. It takes place when people unlawfully take and use other people’s personal identification. The latter includes using their account numbers, social security numbers, and even another person’s name. As a result, of the current economic downturn, those in charge of making polices are trying to find ways of reviving the American economic health. Moreover, identity theft seeks to threaten the country’s financial stability. There are many security and economic risks, which are associated with identity theft (Vaca, 2002).

This paper seeks to give a critical analysis concerning the issue on identity theft. Furthermore, it will examine the actions that congress is taking in order to solve this unlawful crime.

Critical analysis on the issue on Identity Theft in the United States

People should be aware that they are prone to become victims of identity theft at any time. There are many times when potential victims spend a lot of time in activities that encourage identity theft. These include fixing credit records, opening and closing accounts. In an attempt to clear one’s name, there are expenses, which are extremely high. Individuals have been known to lose their jobs, and others even being denied loans. In other scenarios, people have landed themselves in jail, as crimes were committed using a mistaken identity Research has found out that, on an annual basis, Americans who are victims of identity theft are growing fast in numbers. Internet expansion and increased globalization are responsible for the increase in cases concerning identity theft. In turn, it becomes difficult for law enforcers to apprehend and identity perpetrators of identity theft. Some of the perpetrators conduct their illegal activities from outside America. It is a fact that thieves who steal identities can either operate in a syndicate, or individually (Vaca, 2002). The criminal networks are always being investigated by the FBI, so that they capture the syndicate’s masterminds. For example, the FBI has been able to identity Boston as among the leading identity theft locations in America. Congress has given law enforcement agencies the power, which they need, in order to catch identity thieves. This is a step in achieving rewarding results, and to ensure that this matter comes to an end.

In the year 2007, the Red Flag Rule that focuses on Identity theft was established by congress. It demanded that financial institutions and creditors were to come up with preventive programs that focused on identity theft. Later on, congress formed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions in the year 2003. It had to keenly follow the Red Flag Guidelines, and work together with federal agencies that focus on banking. It meant that the financial institutions and creditors were to alert congress about any suspicious documents. Moreover, they were to identify suspicious addresses, identifiable information, warnings and notifications, derived from consumer reporting agencies. Unfortunately, the Red Flag Rule was met with resistance as the institutions and creditors were not prepared (Kim, 2012). This issue persisted until the year 2010, and Congress was blamed as it could not handle this matter. It is extremely uncertain on how identity theft will be impacted by the Red Flag Rule. Fortunately, financial institutions and creditors will be assisted as they will be cautious on any suspicious activities and security matters. The latter are some of the leading causes of identity theft cases in America. The Red Flag Rule advocates for identity theft cases to be prosecuted as well as be investigated. In turn, financial institutions and creditors will be identified by their specific red flags. Also, they will need to ensure that law enforcers and consumers are identified whenever there are any incidents of breach of data. This information will save many Americans from having their personal identifiable information from being stolen. It seems that early notification is a sure way of ensuring that damages and mitigation caused by identity theft is quickly reduced. It is indeed true that the Red Flag Rule introduced by congress is a measure to reduce cases of identity theft (Synovate, 2006).

Congress is constantly involved in acts, which will ensure that those found guilty of identity theft are punished. Also, it seeks to find ways of ensuring that people are deterred from engaging in any identity theft issues. President Obama has made developments in an attempt to address the issue on identity theft. He has made it clear on various occasions that identity theft will not be accepted by the government. Obama believes that when people steal other people’s identities, they are facilitating crime. Through punishing those who are guilty of committing identity theft crimes, other related crimes will be unfolded. Obama wants congress to expand the Theft Task Force as it is one sure way of handling identity theft. Furthermore, many other inclusions have been made by the task force concerning theft identity. The latter contain other crimes such as tax fraud, counterfeit securities and mail theft (Gary, 2012). Also, it should be known that the congress does not have sufficient evidence to claim that the mentioned crimes are indeed related to identity theft. If the list is expanded by congress, other parties such as investigative agencies and American attorneys have to be included. They should be able to show the relationship that exists between federal crimes and identity theft. This should take place by giving a detailed report on other predicated offenses that are not codified. Moreover, if congress decided to have the list expanded matters of importance, such as national security and economic health would be ignored. Many consumers have complained about an increase in cases that concern identity theft. In turn, many guilty individuals have been convicted and imprisoned as a result of complaints by the customers. The victims who are being affected by this vital issue are widening in scope as children are also being affected. Organizations are now becoming aware that they are targets for identity thieves. According to the Task Force, identity thieves are using a method known as ‘phishing’ in order to carry out their heinous acts. They trick individuals by claiming they are an organization, and thus an easy way for them to obtain individuals personal information. Congress has been urged by the Task Force to make their statutes on identity theft more clear. In turn, organizations and individuals will be protected by the laws set up by congress (The President’s Identity Theft Task Force, 2007).


In conclusion, identity theft is an issue of extreme importance and it cannot be ignored. Many people have lost valuable things in their lives to the ruthless identity thieves. In turn, congress has had to found a way of dealing with this issue before it escalates any further. Various task forces have been set up such as the Theft Task Force and the Red Flag Rule in order to combat this issue. The American public needs to be well informed in order to avoid being involved in the identity theft issue. Congress has shown that is has a role to play in ensuring that identity theft prevalence is reduced. Furthermore, centers and hotlines have been made available, so that the public reports about any identity theft issues. Also, more research is done to curb the problem on identity theft. Various stakeholders should participate in research and finding out how to get rid of this problem. If research is done in the appropriate manner, Americans will be saved from having their identities stolen. Indeed, identity theft is an issue that should be carefully considered as it is one that affects the American population significantly.


The President’s Identity Theft Task Force, Combating Identity Theft: A Strategic Plan, Apr. 23, 2007, 91-92.

Synovate, Federal Trade Commission: 2006 Identity Theft Survey Report,

Gary R. et al., Identity Fraud Trends and Patterns: Building a Data-Based Foundation for Proactive Enforcement, Center for Identity Management and Information Protection, Utica College,

Kim, R. 2009 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Consumer Version, Javelin Strategy & Research, February 2012, HYPERLINK “”

Vaca, John. (2002). Identity Theft. New York: Prentice Hall.