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Library FY Research Award


The ever-growing popularity of the Internet in recent years has been conducive to the development of cybercrimes. Not only have new types of cybercrimes emerged, but traditional crimes, including identity theft, have also become more complex with the assistance of new technologies. The US, as a financial and technical powerhouse, has been a primary target of this new form of identity theft. According to Javelin Strategy and Research (2018), in 2017 alone, 16.7 million people in the US were victims of identity theft, with an aggravated loss of more than $16.8 billion.

To counter the growing threat of identity theft, the US law enforcers have a key role in investigating and prosecuting identity theft cases. However, the efficiency of their efforts has been questionable. This research argues that the ineffective prosecution and investigation from US law agencies fail to prevent identity theft. Specifically, the following paper identifies the persistent weaknesses in legal enforcement and technical difficulties in the investigation process as central factors undermining these prevention efforts.


Hoang Vo was awarded the Waidner-Spahr Library Prize for Excellence in First Year Research for this paper in 2019.

Advisor: Associate Professor Elizabeth Lewis