EC A Felon’s View Of White-Collar Crime - Why Society Is Very Vulnerable To Fraud

White-collar crime can be more brutal than violent crime. The actions of one or a few corrupt public officials and corrupt businessmen can affect the livelihoods of thousands, even millions of people. Fraudsters use a combination of persuasion and deceit to execute their crimes. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of how easy it is for fraudsters prey on their behavioral and cognitive vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the amount of prosecutions of white-collar criminals recommended by the FBI has steadily declined over the last 20 years. The government devotes far more resources to battling street crime than white-collar crime. The current framework involving, compliance, audits, and law enforcement does little to protect investors from fraud.

Every person is capable of doing white-collar crime. At the 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Conference in San Diego California in 2011, Joan Pastor, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Fraud Expert said, “We’re all capable of committing fraud. Every single person in this room is capable of committing crimes.” For all of us, ethics is a matter of convenience depending on the situation and pressures involved. White-collar crime is an inevitable byproduct of the human condition. Seriously, can anyone truthfully claim that they live without sin and temptation?

Image from FBI

 

At best, people can prevent themselves from being victims of fraud. However, there is relatively little that our society can do to stop fraudsters from victimizing other naive and vulnerable people. If you are smart enough to avoid being victimized by a fraudster, they will simply find someone else with an exploitable weakness.

Exploitable Weaknesses

White-Collar criminals use a combination of persuasion and deceit to achieve their objectives. Fraudsters prey on the psychological and cognitive vulnerabilities of their victims using the following techniques:
 

  • White-collar criminals consider your humanity, ethics, morality, and good nature as weaknesses to be exploited in the execution of their crimes.
  • White-collar criminals measure their effectiveness by the comfort level of their victims. They use a combination of charm and deceit to achieve their objectives. It’s far easier to get a potential victim to believe your lies, if they like you.
  • White-collar criminals fabricate false integrity to gain the trust of their victims. Stature, generosity, and good deeds gain the respect of their potential victims and make it less likely that victims will question their behavior.
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I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped my cousin Eddie Antar and other members of ...

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