Criminal identity deception and deception detection in law enforcement

Gang Wang, Hsinchun Chen, Homa Atabakhsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Criminals often falsify their identities intentionally in order to deter police investigations. In this paper we focus on uncovering patterns of criminal identity deception observed through a case study performed at a local law enforcement agency. We define criminal identity deception based on an understanding of the various theories of deception. We interview a police detective expert and discuss the characteristics of criminal identity deception. A taxonomy for criminal identity deception was built to represent the different patterns that were identified in the case study. We also discuss methods currently employed by law enforcement agencies to detect deception. Police database systems contain little information that can help reveal deceptive identities. Thus, in order to identify deception, police officers rely mainly on investigation. Current methods for detecting deceptive criminal identities are neither effective nor efficient. Therefore we propose an automated solution to help solve this problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Criminal identity deception
  • Deception
  • Deception detection
  • Identity
  • Identity fraud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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