Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Fact Sheet: The Department of Justice’s
Efforts to Combat Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime that victimizes people and businesses in every community from major cities to small towns, and robs victims of their individual freedoms. The Department of Justice is deeply committed to combating all forms of identity theft, through its use of investigative and prosecutorial resources to bring identity thieves to justice, and its support of outreach and prevention efforts to protect the public from identity theft.

Bringing Identity Thieves to Justice

The Department’s identity theft prosecutions have ranged from simple theft of financial data and documents to credit-card “skimming” operations and high-tech “phishing” schemes and schemes to use others’ online brokerage accounts to manipulate securities markets. As just one example of the Department’s robust efforts to prosecute identity thieves, the Department has made extensive use of the aggravated identity theft statute since it was enacted in 2004: in Fiscal Year 2006, the Department charged 507 defendants with aggravated identity theft, up from 226 defendants in Fiscal Year 2005. Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2006, the Department charged 1945 defendants in cases involving both identity theft and aggravated identity theft charges, up from 1571 defendants in Fiscal Year 2005. The following cases are just a few examples of the identity theft prosecutions brought across the country over the last year.

Outreach and Prevention

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the Justice Department provides funding and training for victim service programs and victim service providers at the federal, state, local and tribal levels; funding for law enforcement’s, prosecutors’ and crime prevention experts’ efforts to address identity theft through the Bureau of Justice Assistance; research and program evaluation concerning identity theft through the National Institute of Justice; and data collection for policymakers on identity theft through the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Anyone wishing to ask a question about identity theft or to report identity theft may call 1-877-ID-THEFT, or visit Other resources are available on the Office for Victims of Crime identity-theft resource Web page at, and on the Department’s identity-theft Web site at