Different Types of White Collar Crime


There are many variations to the definition of white collar crime. In general they are usually “non-violent” crimes that are financial in nature and involve money or valuables. It may also involve theft, fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and other illegal activities that are performed by an individual or group of individuals who typically do not get their hands dirty but instead use others to carry out their less-than-legal plans. White collar crimes include Ponzi schemes and Pyramid schemes such as Bernie Madoff’s scheme which caused untold devastation to the people who entrusted him with their savings.

The most common form of white collar crime may be fraud. Fraud is defined as the intention to deceive in order to gain a financial or personal advantage and it can take many forms such as: home improvement schemes, work-at-home fraud, lottery scams, fake charities, wire transfer fraud, online auction frauds like on eBay, identity theft via phishing emails that entice people to give up private information like bank account numbers etc., credit card fraud by using stolen card numbers on the internet or making counterfeit cards.

According to the FBI there are 3 types of white collar crimes. The first being “financial”: which includes counterfeiting money and selling fake products, embezzlement, fraud, larceny; the next is “computer crime” which includes hacking into government or corporate computers and stealing information that would be valuable in other areas of life such as credit card numbers. The third type is “other”: includes everything from smuggling controlled substances to murder for hire.

Financial Crime

Financial white collar crime is generally “non-violent” in nature. This type of crime usually does not have any physical force being used, but it is still a form of theft that affects the monetary system of an area or even the world as a whole. The most common form of financial white collar crime involves money. Embezzlement and fraud are common examples of this. It can also include tampering with records and accounting fraud to alter accounts in order to increase profit margins by manipulating stock values or falsifying credit histories by altering payment information. Tax crimes when people do not paying taxes through illegal efforts over long periods of time if there is no oversight over their accounts, is also considered financial, white collar crime.

Computer Crime

Computer crime is a new area of white collar crime. It deals with people using information found on computers to illegally obtain personal information or money from others. Nowadays, most business transactions are handled over the internet and it has come to be a very useful tool for the everyday person. However, just like any technology it can have a downside due to hackers who take advantage of any weak areas in data security. This type of crime is considered white collar because no violent action is used.

Computer crime can also include virus related crimes where people infect other people’s computers with viruses that will either destroy their data, cause them to lose all records of their actions on the computer and even make their computer unusable while they are working on it, or require them to pay a fee to regain control of their systems.

Other White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes that do not fall into the above two categories are considered “other” white collar crimes. These involve items such as counterfeit money, kidnapping for ransom, war profiteering, and running deceptive marketing tactics to sell low-quality or defective merchandise at an inflated price.

Another type of crime often associated with white collar crime is larceny which involves someone taking property without permission. It can also involve theft by tricking people out of their money or possessions. It is a form of stealing that uses deceit or fraud to acquire what would otherwise be impossible to get without approval from the person who owns it in the first place.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are accused of a white collar crime it is important to understand your legal rights and how best to protect yourself. If you do get arrested contact an attorney immediately because you will need representation at your initial court appearance so that you know what your options are and can take steps to avoid making decisions that may affect your case later on down the road. It is important to remember that an arrest does not mean guilty, but if found guilty, a person could face jail time depending on the severity of their crime and fines as well as restitution to those affected by their crimes.

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