White Collar Crime

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Have you ever wondered why certain crimes are named or categorized differently than others? Are some crimes more or less evil or bad, illegal than others. What is meant by the term white collar crime? Who commits white collar crime, how are they punished? Are those who commit white collar crime any more or less dangerous than those who commit murder, or armed robbery? Should they be treated any differently? In this article, we will talk about what white collar crime is and its effects.

What is white collar crime?
The types of crime committed under the white collar crime title are things such as fraud, bankruptcy fraud, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime, pension fund crime, and identity theft and consumer fraud. There are several more but it would be impossible to name them all.

How do people commit white collar crime?
Instead of using guns and weapons to rob, white collar criminals tend to use paperwork and a computer. With the internet made so easily available, it provides a perfect opportunity for white collar criminals to work and escape. Much white collar crime goes undetected.

How can white collar crime harm people?
It can destroy people's lives. If you simply throw away your bank statements at the end of the month with out destroying them, you have left your self open to identity theft. The same thing can happen if you give credit card details or bank account information out over the phone or internet. This information in the wrong hands can cause you problems. With just a simple bank and or credit card details your whole credit card history can be made available. You can give someone the opportunity to spend money on your account, take out loans and purchase things.

A larger and much more serious case of white collar crime was the case against Enron. Employees lost their life savings through their investment scam. The company was caught and many of those involved put in jail, but not before many people had lost everything they had invested.

Who commits white collar crime?
Generally, white collar crime is associated with people of high social standing and intelligence. However, white collar criminals can be just as dangerous as any other criminal and can do even more damage. The FBI estimates that white collar crime costs America over 300 billion dollars a year.

White collar crime may not seem as horrible as other criminal activity because of who it is associated with. However, it is just as bad and can much more destructive.


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White Collar Crime includes many different types of crimes. The term was coined in 1939 during a speech given by Edwin Sutherland to the American Sociological Society.