Half of Brits think white-collar crime is treated more leniently than other offences, survey finds | The Sun

MORE than half of Brits think white-collar crime is treated more leniently than other offences, according to research.

In a poll of 2,000 adults, 31 per cent felt they had seen a rise in fraudulent activity in the past 12 months.

But 59 per cent believe if they were to report an instance of white collar crime to the police or relevant body, nothing would be done about it.

Another 14 per cent admit they would be likely to ignore messages they thought were fraudulent and wouldn’t bother reporting them to the police.

And four in 10 (44 per cent) wouldn't know how to report it or who to give the information to, if they were a victim.

However, just under seven in 10 (69 per cent) think there is a lack of understanding about what exactly a white collar crime entails.

The most common type of fraud seen by respondents are scam emails (74 per cent) followed by scam phone calls (68 per cent) and scam texts (57 per cent).

A spokesperson for software company Medius, which commissioned the research, said: "The judicial system isn’t set up to deal with fraud, and for businesses there is huge amounts of money at stake.

“The best way to tackle white collar crime is through prevention.

“For business owners, ensuring staff are trained up to spot fraudulent activity can be worth its weight in gold, and save huge headaches.”

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Of those who have been targeted by scams, 51 per cent have been asked to make a payment, and four in 10 were asked about their bank details.

Another 38 per cent were asked to pay an invoice or bill, while just over one in 20 (six per cent) were asked to divulge sensitive company information.

The study found people who use emails or messaging at work are more likely to simply delete the email, than report it as spam (35 per cent vs 32 per cent).

The results also showed a huge 86 per cent of adults would like to see more white collar criminals held accountable for their crimes.

And 28 per cent would like to see sentences ‘much longer’ than what they normally are, according to the figures.

Nearly half (48 per cent) also worry that the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI), along with a reduction in human involvement, will lead to more issues in future.

Medius’ spokesperson added: “AI is having an impact on almost all areas of life, and we’re really only at the beginning of what those issues could be.

“From the entertainment industry to journalism to the justice system, everyone is scrambling to keep up.

“AI could be a hugely powerful tool for criminals, so it’s important workplaces stay on top of the latest developments and make sure staff are up to date as well.”

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