Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Mathematics and Computer Science

Program or Major

Computer Science

Faculty Advisor

Joseph Alfano

Keywords

Fraud, Internet security, Personal information management

Abstract

Each year identity theft victimizes more people, taking their time, money, and feeling of financial and physical security. Despite its ongoing presence in the news and media, this fraud is too often treated in a reactive manner. Due to the lack of prevention of identity theft, its negative consequences range from damaging one’s credit score for decades to cases of medical identity theft incorrectly altering a patient’s medical records and causing potentially life threatening complications. This thesis examines four major types of identity theft, including medical identity theft, credit card fraud, consumer data breaches, and the identity theft associated with tax returns. It explores what they entail, how perpetrators commit the fraud, and recommendations for prevention. With a look into what the theft is and how it is committed, we can be better informed and able to slow its prevalence in our society.

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