Since research is lacking on victim services for identity-based crimes, the current study used in-depth interview data collected from individuals who have both experienced a serious identity-based crime in the past 2 years and used services from the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, an organization focused on helping victims deal with identity-based victimizations.
This study adds to the literature in several ways. First, its findings echo the existing knowledge about victim experiences, in that there are financial, emotional, physical, and psychological impacts for victims of serious identity-based crime that mirror the experiences of victims of other types of serious crimes. Second, it adds new knowledge and understanding about the actions taken by victims of different types of identity-based crime, including how they initially seek out services, are influenced by organizations and agencies other than law enforcement, and obtain knowledge about their perpetrators. Finally, the study includes recommendations made by interviewees about how identity-based crime victim services could be enhanced to better serve victims of serious identity-based crime. (publisher abstract modified)