Student Learning and Academic Performance
Digital Law
Identity Theft :
Grade Level: 6 -12


Part I - Introduction

"But he that filches from me my good name/Robs me of that which not enriches him/And makes me poor indeed." - Shakespeare, Othello, act iii. Sc. 3.

Identify theft is a crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Online threats like phishing, spyware, and hackers are also identity theft.

Part II - Class/Advisory Activities

•  Videos


Identity Theft video [ 4 minutes]
Katie Couric Notebook: Identity Theft [1.4 minutes]
Teen Identify Theft [4:04 minutes]

•  Discussion Questions



  1. After viewing the video(s), list some ways people steal identities of others; Mail scams, trash digging, picking wallets, and spyware are some examples.
  2. How can users protect their personal security?
    Shred your credit card/bill information, eliminate spyware, beware of phishing, avoid shady ATM machines, watch your wallet, and check your bank account frequently.
  3. What can be done if your identity has been stolen? Notify authorities immediately; notify credit card companies, change your passwords to all accounts.
  4. What are some preventive measures to ensure that your identity is secure?
  • Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review those reports carefully. Notifying one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies is sufficient.
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
  • File a police report with local law enforcement
  • Report your theft to the Federal Trade Commission, online, by phone, or by mail.


•  Activities


  1. Play this Phishing scam game.
  2. Have students role play having their identities stolen. Ask them to explain how they feel and how they would react.
  3. Have students list precautions they would now follow to avoid identify theft.
  4. Students could create posters with identify theft keywords as an awareness piece for the campus.

Part III - Reflection

•  Writing Prompt(s)  

Reflect on the pitfalls of having your identity stolen. Write 5-7 sentences how it would feel to have this happen.

•  Journal Writing


How would you feel being a person without rights as they have been snatched away by a stranger? How would you feel being asked to prove who you are? Write 5-7 sentences as a journal entry.

Part IV - Extension Activities

•  Class/Advisory – School Activities


Take the online identity theft quiz

Part V - Resources

US Department of Justice