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The project activities

Current State of the Art: the cases of identity theft

Current State of the Art: the cases of identity theft - Sypcit

This is a phase of applied and field research. Priority will be given to an analysis of the current state of the art, considering the present series and the evolving trends and types of techniques of identity theft known, through acquisition of relevant data by the competent law enforcement, by the reports received from consumer organisations , by official statistics, the study of surveys implemented by the project partners within their institutional activities. Next, we will discuss the difficulties:

-prevention (identification and technical control of risk, active and passive protection of personal data, user awareness and so on.)

-investigation, from a technical, legal and practical, profile also in relation to the transnational aspects of the phenomenon

-repression, in terms of concrete operative actions to identify and remove sites used for criminal purposes in this area and persecution of offenders

- practical aid to the victims of identity theft in various areas

This analysis will be useful to support the development of new investigative methods based on the Platform “Sypcit”, the identification of new prevention mechanisms, the development of awareness raising strategies of users and the creation of software tools for end-user security (APP for smartphones ).

Instruments of prevention and repression

Instruments of prevention and repression - Sypcit

The heart of this phase is the development of two different tools to combat identity theft in the network:

- Sypcit platform, which will be made available to law enforcement during the project and for six months more after its conclusion. It is a system for the semantic analysis of web sources, able to categorise and classify them according to a set of criteria which identify in an automated manner the content and its potential hazard or risk. This will allow investigators to take advantage of already structured and pre-tested material to work in a focused and more effective way.

-The APP for smart phones, that will be made available to consumers, will allow them to surf the Internet and to operate with greater awareness of specific risk, case by case, as well as with the help of automated tools to monitor the activities of data exchange made clearly or in the background of the users device. Thanks to this APP  the consumer will be alerted and informed whenever opening for example, a phishing email, a website containing malware etc., as well as warned of the risk when entering his personal information on sites considered malicious or potentially classified “bad” according to the analysis carried out by the Sypcit platform. The APP will also report the device abnormal activity, such as the transmission of user data without his knowledge, etc.

- to create a database of web sources, structured according to the classification made by the Sypcit platform. It will be useful for education and prevention, support for investigative activities, observation of the phenomenon and appropriate development policies by the legislator. 


Training and information

- Training stages for the police: the three seminars will be held in Italy and two in Romania, to illustrate the Sypcit platform and its capabilities to the authorities responsible for investigation and prosecution of identity theft in the network. The course also provides a specific training to the use and customisation of the system, for sharing the requirements of the activities and procedures over time.

- Information and awareness campaign, distribution of the project results: a website in Italian, English and Romanian, will be set up where all the materials, the results of studies and research, event notifications etc of the project will be made available; specific information material for consumers, also information specifically targeted at young will be created. Public events  will be organised, including two workshops in Italy and one in Romania, as well as an important final event.

-Investigation into the usefulness and transferability of the perceived results: once the prevention and support tools are distributed to the project beneficiaries (the various target groups including consumers, police in charge etc. also transnational thanks to the partners’ contacts), a field survey to verify the level of interest and satisfaction expressed by them will be conducted. A tool (questionnaire) will be created, flexible and adaptable to the different contexts and target groups and the results of the survey will be carefully analysed and disseminated. 

Training and information - Sypcit