What Are The Characteristics Of White Collar Crime?

There are multiple classifications for crimes. You may hear people refer to felonies, violent crimes, misdemeanors, infractions and white-collar crimes. Sometimes, the names refer to a specific type of crime. For example, a white-collar crime also falls under the categories of misdemeanors and felonies. They can also be called fraud or financial crimes.

It can be confusing to understand what a specific crime is and how to describe it. White-collar crimes, according to the FBI, are those that do not involve violence. But they have other characteristics.


Usually, the main motive for a white-collar crime is to get money. It could be a fraud scam run to steal money from the elderly, or a scheme to embezzle money from an employer. Because there is usually theft of money involved, these are not victimless crimes. That is a common misconception. The loss of money is huge for many of the victims. Just because they do not face physical harm does not mean they did not suffer due to the crime.


The people who pull off white-collar crimes are typically not your average criminal. They are from wealthy areas, have good jobs, are college graduates, have a family and a home and are often people with good reputations. They get caught up in greed, and that often results in the crime. However, some of these people are professional criminals. They may belong to a criminal organization. Typically, the key here is that the crimes are entwined with how the person earns a living.

White-collar crime can be difficult to define. But in general, these crimes will be financial in nature and involve people who carry them out as part of their normal lives.

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