When we think about the consequences of victimization, we typically focus on violent crime and do not automatically consider the consequences of white-collar crime. Explore various white-collar crimes and their costs to the victims and society in general.
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An astute observation. Yes, the term “victim” implies physical damage, but so-called "white-color” crime does damage, too. That damage is very often mitigated by insurance against theft, etc., but the cost is still passed on to the consumer. The problem, however, is that the damage is not “personal” -- that is, there is seldom a distinct human being who can elicit our sympathy. Take, for example, the white-collar crime of art forgery – who is “hurt” when a collector pays for a painting thinking it is genuine and will retain its value on the open market? Only when the deceit is discovered does the value of the object decline, and as often as not, the painting has changed hands several times since the first deceitful sale. Another kind of white-collar crime with a vague victim is bank fraud or mortgage fraud. The fairly recent collapse of the housing market revealed many victims, and their anguish is chronicled in the eviction statistics and even more visibly in the homeless shelters. The laws against such practices are vague and not understood by the layman, and as a result the victims have little recourse to the forces of advocacy. If an old person is mugged, it is easy to see the anguish of the victim, but when an old person sends a check to a phony charity, the damage is invisible to the public. There is also the decay of trust that slows the mechanisms of progress.
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