White-collar crime is a nonviolent, financially motivated crime which is typically committed by business and government professionals. But remember – nonviolent and victimless are not synonymous terms. In fact, according to the latest published National Public Survey on White Collar Crime, 24% of American households and 27% of individuals were victims of white collar crimes during the 12 months prior to the survey. Let me repeat that – nearly a quarter – of American households were effected by some sort of white collar crime in a 12-month span. The lack of awareness of how detrimental these crimes are just emphasizes the sophistication of these criminals.
Some of the most notorious white collar crimes in history have collectively hit our economy with upwards of $31 Billion in losses - $31,000,000,000.00. Fraud of this magnitude ultimately hits each and every individual, whether personally involved and injured or just getting hit with the economic aftermath.
The FBI has begun to focus many of its efforts attacking white collar crimes – in their words “a single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars”. $31 Billion sounds like an unreal figure, and it is difficult to attach the true damages associated with these crimes to a single family, business or organization. While the financial aftermath of these crimes can be astonishing, there are also other effects to these hideous acts.
This type of criminal is not one which should be easily forgotten or pushed to the sidelines as unimportant. They are everywhere – running major uncovered scandals, or going door to door in a small operation. So, next time you are offered a new investment opportunity, take a step back and investigate – is it real, or is it the makings of the next big scandal?