Much like in our society in the world of business there exist many different types of crimes and misconduct committed by the most craftiest criminals but unlike the ones we see on the news or periodicals almost all of them are dressed in business formal attire. Business crimes are most commonly referred to as “white-collar crime” which constitutes a list of nonviolent criminal acts committed for the purpose of financial gain usually. Some of the most common are Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, cooked books and fraud one of the most well known cases involves former stockbroker and former non-executive chairman of NASDAQ Bernie Madoff who orchestrated the largest financial fraud in the history of the U.S. The second largest committed by Canadian businessman Bernie Ebbers former CEO of WorldCom, a telecommunications company involved changing the numbers for his company to entice investors. The company’s value falsely exaggerated it’s worth to about $11 billion. Both men are currently serving time but these are some of the few types of crime that exist in the business world. Below are more types of crimes that exist that affect not only other businesses but average people like us.

Telemarketing Fraud

Telemarketing fraud involves selling over the phone and it requires the caller to request money from the people and corporations they call usually for a false charity or  investments that do not exist. There are different types of telemarketing schemes which include security fraud, confidence games and advance fee fraud. They could either ask for cash upfront or your credit card information though the only way you can avoid being a victim to this scheme is by requesting the caller’s contact information or use sites like InstantCheckmate that does the job for you.

Illegal Marketing

There are different rules and regulations put in place to control what companies and organizations are allowed to advertise. Illegal marketing or false advertisement is when such companies promote a good or service that violates these rules and deceptively markets them to the public. One example involves the case of Genzyme Corporation, a subsidiary of Sanofi falsely advertised it’s product Seprafilm, a medical implants used to reduce internal scarring on tissues after they heal from an operation, as being safe for surgeons to use. The product itself however was not approved by the Food and Drug administration however and so the company was required to pay over $30 million dollars as a result.

Wage Theft

Companies would go to great lengths to save money while cheating heir employees. Sweat shops are one example to which foreign workers are paid substantial less money for longer hours and harsher working conditions. A more domestic example of wage theft would be companies improperly categorizing their employees status as something else to avoid having to pay fair wages or overtime. Halliburtin, an oil field company had to pay $ 18 million in damages for denying 1,000 of their employees overtime by using this tactic.

Pigeon Drop

Despite it’s relative;y innocent name pigeon drops are a confidence trick to which a 2 con artist (one pretending to be a stranger) approaches their victim known as the pigeon or mark claiming to finding a bag or package containing a lot of money or something else of value. In good faith the con artist is willing to divide the share of the cash by having all parties put up their own money on the table and into one package or envelope. The package is then switched with a different one similar in appearance before the pigeon would know. Elderly retirees are the most common victims because they are on fixed incomes and are more willing to assist others.

These are just to name a few business crimes that you can fall victim to unfortunately there are many other business crimes that cannot be avoided. Although many people who commit these offences are caught others who hold higher positions can usually avoid being brought to justice given their status. Though this is an unfortunate reality there are efforts being made to limit the number of business crimes taking place through regulations and the efforts of law enforcement agencies focused on the business end of crime. If you’re a business owner you can reduce your chances of being a pawn in these crimes by doing the research to protect your business and reporting any suspicious activity or offers from shady characters.