When you talk about “white-collar crime”, the image that immediately pops up into an average person’s mind is that of the Enron case, or something else of similar stature. However, the fact of the matter is that there are other, lesser known business crimes also that have got the potential of impacting you—an average person—directly. These business crimes aren’t, necessarily, committed in the corporate world, and are a source of risk for everyone who has got money to give, worldwide.
Kickbacks are, perhaps, one of the most commonly committed business crimes. However, when you consider their frequent nature with their awareness among the masses, you have got to say that the scenario is of great surprise.
The public, in general, is either misinformed on what kickbacks refer to or are unaware of the concept completely. For those who are unaware, kickbacks refer to a kind of bribery that is negotiated between two parties. The basis of kickbacks lies in how they are considered as an act of cooperation rather than bribery.
What this means is that a certain amount of remuneration is decided, in advance, between the two parties.
What differentiates kickbacks from a majority of other kinds of business frauds is that the instances of kickbacks can be found at, almost, all levels of an organization. From an employee in charge of purchasing to a senior manager, people at a number of levels in an organization might be involved in receiving or giving kickbacks. This is the reason why organizations need to ensure that the instances of kickbacks are reduced, on all levels.
Telemarketing frauds might appear to be a common form of business crimes on paper. However, when you consider all of the revolutions that have been taking place, over the course of time, you have to admit that not many everyday Joes can claim to know all there is to know about telemarketing frauds. In general, telemarketing frauds refer to fraudulent selling to individuals over the phone.
However, over the course of time, this simplistic model of telemarketing crimes has grown to encompass much more than you can imagine. For instance, the telemarketing frauds, nowadays, include kinds of advance fee fraud, security fraud and even charity fraud.
A form of telemarketing fraud that has been steeply growing in popularity, recently, is the timeshare fraud. Owners of timeshare are called to check if they are willing to sell, feeding them lies on how a buyer has been found. If they are willing to sell, then they are asked for an advance fee, up front, which they never get to see again in their lifetimes if they end up paying.
Regardless of how complicated and well-structured a telemarketing fraud might be, it is a fact that a majority of such frauds can be prevented if the victims simply ask for the contact details of the callers and have them verified online.
Jury Duty Fraud
The Jury Duty fraud is also a kind of scam that has been growing in popularity recently. The Jury Duty fraud involves the victims receiving calls from unknown callers, who identify themselves as officers of the court. These self-proclaimed “officers of the court” will then inform the victims that there is a warrant out for their arrests, owing to how they failed to report for jury duty. The replies that the victims give, under such a scenario, are likely to be, “I never received such a note”.
Taking advantage of their victims’ confusion and fear, the scammers ask them for some of their confidential information—birth date, credit card number, social security number or anything else that can be misused in the wrong hands—for verification purposes.
Owing to how the reason for the Jury Duty fraud is nothing else than the attainment of confidential information, it is imperative for the general public to know that the real representatives of the judicial office will NEVER ask for their confidential information over the telephone. So, if you find someone inquiring about your confidential information in such a manner, you need to hang up immediately. People need to be careful of such scammers and calls.
If you ever see well-dressed individuals at your doorstep, offering to give you a bag of money that they happened to find on a sidewalk in exchange for an advance fee, then the chances are that you are a potential victim of a pigeon drop. In a pigeon drop scam, the perpetrators play the game of confidence with their targets (read: pigeons), by offering them a large sum of money in exchange for a smaller sum of money. However, once the “pigeon” has paid the advance fee, they do not receive anything in return, whatsoever.
Owing to the nature of the fraud, the well-dressed, professional looking scammers target elderly people, owing to how they offer minimal resistance. To avoid being a victim of the pigeon drop, people need to relearn the old, kindergarten lesson of not trusting every professional looking stranger who appears on your doorstep. It is common sense, isn’t it? Why would someone offer you a larger sum of money in exchange for a smaller one? Think for yourselves!
If you think about it, you realize that a majority of the frauds can be prevented if people learned to, simply, control a basic human weakness: greed. However, when you consider how we all wish to receive more than what we have worked for, it is safe to say that such a feat is easier said than done!
As an average individual, it is imperative for you to always keep your guard up. The business crimes and scams have become increasingly elaborate, nowadays, contributing directly to risk that everyday Joes face when it comes to the protection of their personal information, in particular.