U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


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...

Property offenses

Burglary—Includes only crimes where the offender committed or attempted a theft.

Trespassing—Includes crimes where the offender did not commit or attempt a theft. Does not include trespassing on land.

Larceny/theft—Includes grand theft, grand larceny, and any other felony theft, including burglary from an automobile, theft of rental property, and mail theft. It does not include motor vehicle theft, receiving or buying stolen property, fraud, forgery, or deceit.

Motor vehicle theft—Includes auto theft, conversion of an automobile, receiving and transferring an automobile, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, and larceny or taking of an automobile.

Forgery—Includes forging of a driver's license, official seals, notes, money orders, credit or access cards or names of such cards or any other documents with fraudulent intent, uttering a forged instrument, counterfeiting, and forgery.

Fraud—Includes possession and passing of worthless checks or money orders, possession of false documents or identification, embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretenses, credit card fraud, welfare fraud, Medicare fraud, insurance claim fraud, fraud, swindling, stealing a thing of value by deceit, and larceny by check.

Other property offenses—Includes receiving or buying stolen property, arson, reckless burning, damage to property, criminal mischief, vandalism, criminal trespassing, possession of burglary tools, and unlawful entry for which the interest is unknown.


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.
Manual Tags