White-collar crime is a term that has existed since 1939 when it was introduced by Edwin Sutherland during his speech to the American Sociological Society. In the speech, he defined white-collar crime as an offense committed by an individual of high social status and respectability in the course of his/her occupation. These crimes also refer to financially motivated non-violent offenses carried out by governmental and business professionals. Despite the disagreements on what constitutes white-collar crime, the term has widely been used to incorporate various types of non-violent offenses that are conducted in commercial situations for a person's or an organization's financial gain. Law enforcement agencies have experienced numerous challenges in investigating and preventing most of these crimes since offenders use sophisticated methods to cover their activities through a range of complex dealings and transactions. Some of the most common types of white-collar crimes include ponzi schemes, bait and switch, charity-based fraud, and telemarketing fraud.
Types of White-Collar Crimes:
As previously mentioned, white-collar crime encompasses several types of non-violent offenses conducted by business and government professionals for financial gains. The differences in the types of white-collar crimes are fueled by differences in the means used to carry out the illegal activities and the series of complex dealings and transactions involved in the process. Moreover, these offenses differ because of the general classification of crimes by modern criminology based on the kind of offense, type of offender, and organizational culture where the crime takes place.
One of the most common types of white-collar crime is bait and switch, which is primarily an illegal sales tactic that is punishable as false advertising (Root III, n.d.). This crime can also be regarded as an attempt by a business or organization to systematically deceive its customers through breach of contract, false advertising, and deceit in sales. While such practice is prohibited, it is a common practice in the modern business world. Actually, bait and switch is found in virtually any advertising circular in various industries including automobile retailers and major department stores. Perpetrators of this crime use the technique to attract customers to their stores through advertising extremely low prices and offering customers different products at higher prices once they visit the stores.
As a perpetrator of this offense, I will use the tactic to advertise cars at very low prices though in an extremely limited number in stock. Customers will be able to see their preferable cars at affordable prices but once they get to the store, the car will be already sold. They will then be offered other vehicles at slightly higher prices than the advertised ones in expectation that they will purchase the cars. My target market will be young people who are looking for their first cars and willing to spend extra money to purchase them. The Federal Trade Commission will be responsible for investigating crime since it is responsible for monitoring advertising. Some of the challenges they will experience during investigations include the legitimacy of limited stocks that is proven by records of sales of few items and the legitimacy of persuading customers to buy more expensive models of similar products.
The second type of white-collar crime is telemarketing fraud, which has become prevalent due to rapid technological advancements. Telemarketing fraud has increased in recent years because of the increased use of computers, telephones, and fax machines by legal and illegal businesses to scam consumers and businesses. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, chances of being a victim are enhanced through provision of personal or financial information to unknown callers ("Common Fraud Schemes," n.d.). To conduct this crime, I would create a program that calls a user of an identified virus activity on his/her computer once he/she visits my website. During the call, I'll claim to be linked to a reputable technology company and ask the user to take immediate actions through displaying information that looks startling and disturbing though the computer is normal. Once the user responds, he/she will be directed to a remote website or software, which will enable me to have total control of his/her computer. This will in turn enable me to have full access to the user's sensitive personal and financial information while pretending to provide remote computer support…