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Financial fraud

Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS)

The National Crime Victimization Survey’s (NCVS) Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS) collects data on the experiences of adults across seven types of personal financial fraud during the preceding 12 months. It also collects information on victim characteristics, and whether the incident was reported to police or others.

Financial fraud

In the National Crime Victimization Survey's Supplemental Fraud Survey, financial fraud is defined as acts that “intentionally and knowingly deceive the victim by misrepresenting, concealing, or omitting facts about promised goods, services, or other benefits and consequences that are nonexistent, unnecessary, never intended to be provided, or deliberately distorted for the purpose of monetary gain.” (See Stanford Center on Longevity. (2015). Framework for a taxonomy of fraud. https://longevity.stanford.edu/framework-for-a-taxonomy-of-fraud/)

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Identity Theft and Financial Fraud

Self-report survey responses, collected through the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), are the BJS primary source of information on identity theft and financial fraud.

Identity Theft

The definition of identity theft in the NCVS includes three general types of incidents:

  • unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account
  • unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account
  • misuse of personal information...


The intentional misrepresentation of information or identity to deceive others, the unlawful use of a credit or debit card or ATM, or the use of electronic means to transmit deceptive information, in order to obtain money or other things of value. Fraud may be committed by someone inside or outside the business. Includes instances in which a computer was used to defraud the business of money, property, financial documents, insurance policies, deeds, use of rental cars, or various services by forgery, misrepresented identity, credit card or wire fraud. Excludes incidents of embezzlement.
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