The 2005 National Public Survey on White Collar Crime

Authors: John Kane & April D. Wall

Publication: National White Collar Crime Center

Year: 2006

Relevance:This broad survey measures various forms of fraud and identifies factors associated with victimization.

Summary: This national survey polled a random sample of 1,605 adults about their personal and household experiences with white collar crime. These crimes include consumer fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, and many others.

Overall, 46.5% of households and 35% of individuals reported experiencing at least one form of these crimes within the previous year (p. 2). This was a 10% increase in household victimization over NW3C’s previous survey (1999).

There was an average of 1.49 victimizations per respondent within in the previous year (p. 11) and 2.23 victimizations per respondent within their lifetimes (p. 12).

  • Rate by type: The most common types of victimization were product pricing fraud (35.9%), credit card fraud (24.5%), unnecessary object repairs (20.8%), and being directly affected by national corporate scandals (21.4%) (p.2).
  • Vulnerability (lifetime): “For the lifetime measure the variables associated with increased victimization rates were being male, Caucasian, having a higher income, and using the Internet.” p. 2
  • Vulnerability (12-month): “On the 12- month level, those factors most closely associated with being victimized were utilizing the Internet and living in an urban setting” (p. 2).
  • Reporting: Overall, “only 14.43% of total victimizations were brought to the attention of any type of criminal justice agency” (p. 11).
  • Perception: “Respondents view white collar crime as being as serious as more traditional crime types” (p. 3). “Organizational offenses are viewed more harshly than those committed by individual offenders” (p. 3).

More details on each sub-section can be found in the full source survey (see link below).

First Paragraph: In 1999, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) conducted a national public survey on white collar crime. The telephone-based survey elicited responses from 1,169 U.S. adults in the areas of public perceptions of crime seriousness, risk behaviors, white collar crime victimization, and reporting behaviors. The types of victimization measured included: frauds involving product pricing, “free prizes,” and auto repair; 800/900 number scams; unauthorized pin number use; unauthorized credit card use; Internet fraud; and financial planning fraud.

Full Source