The Abuse of Identity Theft and Child Soliciting Either as Cyber Crime or Non-cyber Crime

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The internet has become a platform in which the current world is increasingly being shaped. The internet has created advantages to humanity but also challenges in quantifiable measures. Cyber crime is a particular challenge where criminals use the internet to perform unethical or criminal’s activities (Saleh, 2013). This essay discuses identity theft and child soliciting as well as abuse as either cyber crime or non-cyber crime.

Child Soliciting and Abuse

Child soliciting and abuse takes many forms such as emotional, neglect, physical and sexual. The interplay between child soliciting as well as abuse and the internet is that people may use the latter expose children to emotional, sexual activity and pornographic material (NSOPW, 2016). Child abuse and soliciting is qualifies to be a cyber crime in that the internet enables people to store, access, make or distribute child pornography and other forms of child- based sexual activities. In addition, it also qualifies to be a cyber crime as people can use the internet to communicate with a child with the objective of luring or facilitating commission of sexual offenses and other offenses against the child (Holt and Bossler, 2016). Moreover, criminals can also use the internet to invite a child to engage in sexual activities. Statistics indicate that 1 in every 7 of youth has been subjected to sexual solicitation via internet. In addition, 9% of internet users have been subjected to distressing sexual online material. Moreover, 27% underage internet users claim to have been requested to provide personal sexual photographs.

Conversely, child abuse can also be treated as a non-cyber crime. An act qualifies to be child abuse from a sexual perspective if the following activities take place. Sexually touching

any part of a child’s body; rape or penetrating an object in a child’s mouth, anus or vagina. In addition, forcing a child to engage in sexual activity, make a minor to take clothes off, masturbate and touch another person’s genital is child abuse (Jewkes, 2010). Moreover, non- contact abuse may involve sexually grooming a child or encourage a child to hear sexual material. Surveys conducted in 2012 indicate that 26% child abuse victims between the ages of 12-14 while those 9 years and below accounted 34%. A general trend is that 35.8% of all child abuse cases occur to victims between ages 12-17. Statistics also indicate that 1 in 5 high school students have been subjected to either physical or sexual abuse (NSOPW, 2016). At a personal level, child abuse remains so irrespective of the mode or platform upon which it is committed. The ambiguity does not change the outcome of child physical or sexual abuse.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is actualized when criminals impersonate individuals typically for financial gain (Insurance Information Institute, 2016). If criminals can access personal information relating on social security number, names, signatures and phone numbers, they can use it gain access to the individual’s private and protected information. Identity theft qualifies to be a cybercrime if criminals use malicious software’s and spyware to steal personal information (Holt and Bossler, 2016). For instance, they use Trojan horses and chat rooms to steal passwords, usernames and credit card numbers to impersonate or access peoples financial records. The data

below indicate reveal the extent of identity theft as a cyber crime.

Table 1: Type of identity theft in the US

Type of identity theft in the US (Insurance Information Institute, 2016)

Statistics in Australia also indicate that 19.8% of ID theft victims have experienced more than two related incidences in the last two years. 10.0% of all personal information was obtained through the internet (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016).

Conversely, identity theft should plainly be treated as conventional fraud. The rational is that acquiring someone’s personal information and using it for financial gain without their express permission constitute a financial fraud. Identity fraud principally involves the use of stolen identity to perform criminal identity (Holt and Bossler, 2016). Therefore, irrespective of the means used, identity fraud should be treated as such. The stealing of personal information either ‘online’ or “off-line” qualifies to be fraud. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) statistics on stealing of personal information has been presented below.

Table 2 above indicates that personal information found through Lost & Stolen (24%)

and Card ID theft (28%). It is evident that criminals do not necessary rely on the internet to commit id theft. At a personal level, identity theft and fraud define the same action as the statistics indicate irrespective of the mode of acquiring the information; fraud is committed.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). 4528.0 – Personal Fraud, 2010-2011. [online] Available


    ?opendocument [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

  2. Financial Fraud Action UK. (2016). Financial Fraud Action UK – Fraud the Facts. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

  3. Holt, T. and Bossler, A. (2016). Cybercrime in progress. Theory and prevention of technology- enabled offenses. Routledge

    Insurance Information Institute. (2016). Identity Theft and Cybercrime. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

  4. Jewkes, Y. (2010). Much ado about nothing? Representations and realities of online soliciting of children. Journal Of Sexual Aggression, 16(1), 5-18.

  5. NSOPW. (2016). Facts and Statistics. [online] Available at: Statistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].


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