The Reasons Why People Commit Fraud

  Fraud is a common crime. Source:Nick Youngson Although some professional criminals will continually commit fraud in a very knowing manner, according to a number of criminologists, a high proportion of fraudsters do not consider themselves to be criminals at all. You can come across fraudsters in many situations. Some are internet scammers who set up rogue websites and selling pages. Others try to take advantage of internet gaming which is why you should only play at reputable online gambling sites where there are a host of anti-fraud measures in play. There again, others simply pocket some of the money they handle which should go into the cash register or be written up in a business ledger. Regardless of the type of fraudster, why do people do it?

The Fraud Triangle

In many cases, people who commit fraud do so at work because this is where the opportunity to do so presents itself. Some experts in fraud regard this key aspect of the crime - opportunity - to be one third of a triangle that makes up the mindset of fraudsters. For example, an employee who has access to credit card details or other confidential information will have the opportunity to commit fraud. Of course, not all people take such action. What is also needed is the motivation to do so. This could be derived from financial need but it may also be simply because the individual is motivated from the thrill of getting away with it. There again, some people are motivated by a sense of revenge, such as believing that they are worth more for the work they do or that they have been unfairly passed over for promotion. Scams and hacking online are very common Source:Methodshop The third side of the fraud triangle, according to criminologists, is rationalisation. This is sometimes called justification. Essentially, it is how a fraudster excuses themselves for their wrongdoing. They might tell themselves that fraud is not a true crime, for example. There again, they might think that everyone else is doing it so why not them, too? Sometimes fraudsters even rationalise their behaviour as a virtue - that the institution they are defrauding should be happy they are only taking it so far or that they are showing remarkable restraint given the level of opportunity.

The Galatea Effect

Named after a statue that came to life in Greek mythology, the Galatea effect is a psychological theory that goes a long way to explain why otherwise law-abiding people choose to commit fraud. The principle behind the idea comes down to how people perceive themselves. For example, if you look at workplace fraud, then it is more likely to be committed by a certain type of employee than another. In short, people who have a strong self-image and who consider that they are – more or less – masters of their own destinies will be less likely to commit petty frauds. On the other hand, people who feel hemmed in by their working environment and who think they have few opportunities in life to change things for the better will more often commit frauds - so long as the chance to do so presents itself, of course. Therefore, empowering people in the workplace - and other areas of life - is a key tool in the ongoing fight against this form of crime.


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