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What are the Most Common White Collar Crimes?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), white collar crimes can be defined as “the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. These crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence.”

Although the term white collar crime encumpases a large array of different crimes, some white collar crimes are more common than others.

Computer and Internet Fraud

The FBI reported that victims of internet fraud lost 1.33 billion dollars in 2016. Additionally, the FBI’s internet fraud unit has accepted 3,762,358 complaints from 2000-2016, but Computer and internet fraud can take many forms.

For example, some of these crimes involve an internet user being contacted over the phone. The perpetrator will convince the unsuspecting internet user that he or she is removing a virus from the user’s computer. When in reality, he or she is installing a virus or malware that is giving the perpetrator access to bank records, files on the user’s computer containing personal information, and passwords to all of the websites the user frequents.

Cyber Extortion

Often, government entities and corporate executives become complaisant. They gain a false sense of security by believing that no one would dare try to extort a government entity or a multibillion dollar corporation, and unfortunately, this false sense of security lead to some embarrassing situations.

The City of Atlanta is a shining example of just how bad a cyber extortion situation can be. According to the New York Times, a majority of the city’s databases were rendered inoperable for five days due to hackers who had penetrated the city’s internal servers and encrypted almost all of the city’s sensitive data. Atlanta residents were unable to pay traffic fines, local courts could not verify warrants, and police officers had to revert back to preparing hand written police reports. The hackers submitted a demand to the city for around $51,000 in cryptocurrency

Credit Card Fraud

Identity theft is becoming more and more common every year, but identity theft takes many forms. According to Experian, credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft in 2017. Generally, credit card fraud is accomplished in two ways: stealing someone’s credit card information and using it to make unauthorized purchases or filing false applications for credit cards in someone else's name in order to make unauthorized purchases with the fraudulent credit card.

Regardless of its form, credit card fraud cost merchants a staggering 8.45 billion dollars in 2015 in the United States alone, and it is estimated to surpass 12 billion by 2020.

Securities Fraud

Although securities fraud might not be as common as credit card fraud or internet can computer fraud, the far reaching consequences of this crime are undeniable. This is demonstrated by one of the largest cases of securities fraud in history that was carried out by Bernard “Bernie” Madoff.

Bernie Madoff was responsible for constructing one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history which swindled investors out of nearly 65 billion dollars. Although Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, Madoff’s crimes left financial devastation that is infamous to this day. Other examples of this type of crime includes the Enron scandal, the original ponzi scheme orchestrated by Charles Ponzi, and JPMorgan traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout.

All white-collar crimes are serious matters. If you’ve been accused of a fraud, embezzlement, or another type of white collar crime, you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Winter Park, FL immediately.


Sources:

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
1.33 billion dollars
New York Times
Experian
8.45 billion dollars
ponzi schemes
65 billion dollars

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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