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Identity Fraud and Transnational Crime

NCJ Number
Juan Gabriel Ronderos
Date Published
May 2000
27 pages
This paper explores the meaning and scope of identity fraud, its relationship to transnational organized crime, and efforts proposed and established by the Canadian government to counter it and related offenses.
Identity fraud takes place either through counterfeiting documents of identification such as passports and social insurance numbers or by using stolen documentation. Individuals can rent or purchase these pieces of identification from specialized criminals to assist illegal immigration, terrorism, espionage, and other movement of people between countries. Countries should address identity fraud both as an independent crime and also as the means to achieve greater criminal ends. Addressing identity fraud requires international law enforcement cooperation and collaboration in anti-smuggling strategies such as increased inspections of open-top containers leaving Asian ports and the use of the high-technology Mobile Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System introduced into the screening done by Canadian Customs. The proposed Canadian legislation titled Bill C-31 would develop a new permanent resident card to help reduce fraud and establish new offenses and stiffer penalties for human traffickers and people smuggling. The analysis concludes that policies to address the market for illegal documentation should include enhanced cooperation among the affected countries’ police agencies and not just new legislation. Appended discussion of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and 24 references