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FSU CCJ 3644 - Ch. 3: Crimes in Sales­Related Occupations

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WCC Textbook Outline: White Collar Crime – The EssentialsCh. 3: Crimes in Sales-Related OccupationsA Systems Perspective• In sales-oriented occupations, in particular, the likelihood of theft is high.Employee Theft in the Retail System• Retail system is the setting where consumers purchase various types of products.• Employee theft in retail settings:o Overcharging: Employees charge customers more than they should have.o Shortchanging: Employees do not give customers all of their change and pocket the difference.o Coupon Stuffing: Employees steal coupons and use them later.o Credits for nonexistent returns: Employees give credit for returns to collaborators.o Theft of production supplies and raw materials: Employees steal items used to produce goods in retail settings. o Embezzlement: Employees steal money from an account to which they have access.o Over-ordering supplies: Employees steal money from an account to which they have access.o Theft of credit card information: Employees steal customers’ credit card information.o Theft of goods: Employees steal the items the retail setting is trying to sell. o Theft of money from the cash register: Employees take money out of the registero Sweetheart deals: Employees give friends and family members unauthorized discounts• Prevention strategies:o Importation strategies: strategies that aim to import only the best types of employees, who are less likely to engage in employee theft. Ex: background checks, drug tests, etc.…o Internal strategies: include policies and practices performed within the retail setting in an effort to prevent employee theft. Ex: random inspections, audits Random inspections include checking cash registers and employee lockers for evidence of wrongdoingo Technological strategies: entail the use of various forms of technology to prevent employee theft in retail settings. Ex: use of video cameras Closed-circuit television has been hailed as the most effective deterrent in retail settingso Organizational culture strategies: aim to promote an organizational culture that values honesty and loyalty Supervisors must – • Provide advice to employers about the organization’s culture• Build loyalty between the employee and the employer• Establish a trusting relationship between workers• Eliminate temptations “Strong integrity program” – Four elements• Mangers would be held accountable for employees’ behavior and provided incentives as part of the accountability• Managers would ensure that all employees be aware of the rules of conduct in the retail setting• An effort would be made to give employees a “sense of authority”• Managers would provide employees an outlet for reporting misconducto Anonymous reporting systems have been found to be particularly useful in detecting wrongdoingo Awareness strategies: focus on increasing awareness among employees about various issues related to employee theft Employees should be exposed to the following –• Anonymous tip lines• New hire orientation• Formal codes of conduct• Bulletin board posters related to theft prevention• Periodic lectures on theft and the consequences of theft• Loss prevention compensation programso Monetary rewards for reporting coworker’s theftCrimes in the Entertainment Services System• Entertainment services system describes those settings where consumers consume or purchase various forms of services designed at least partially for entertainment or pleasure.o Focus is on restaurant and hotel industries• In terms of crimes by workers against the restaurant, patterns similar to those of employee theft in retail settings are found.• Factors leading to theft by workers in restaurants:o Tend to hire younger workerso Low wages lead to feelings of being underpaid and underappreciatedo Part-time nature of work = workers feel less invested in employero Erratic hours lead to various opportunities for misconduct• Policies and strategies for reducing theft in restaurants:o Inventory controlo Controlled exits so mangers know when workers are leavingo Inspections of employees’ belongingso Video cameraso Locks on goods and itemso Restricted access to the cash registerHotel Industry• Crime types include:o Theft of hotel foodo Theft of items owned by the hotelo Theft of hotel guests’ items• These crimes are particularly difficult to detect• Particularly problematic during summer months when temporary employees are hiredFraud in the Sales/Service System• Sales/service system entails businesses that sell basic goods and series to consumers.• These “basic” goods and services are those that most individuals nee in order to function in their communitieso Home and automobileHome Repair Fraud• Most common types of home repair fraud:o Roof repairo Asphalt paving or driveway sealing fraudo House painting fraudo Termite and pest control fraudo Tree pruning and landscaping fraud• Usually door-to-door scams initiated by offender• Home repair frauds appear to increase after national disasters• The advantage of criminal laws (and policies) directed toward home repair fraud is that officials have clear guidance on how these cases should be processed. o Without these laws these crimes would be handled as civil wrongdoings if at allAuto Repair/Sales Fraud• Billing for services not provided occurs when auto mechanics bill consumers (or insurance companies) for services not provided. o Industry insiders critiqued the BAR study for being methodologically flawed and for using vague definitions of fraud, which included billing mistakes.• Unnecessary auto repairs occur when mechanics perform mechanical services that are not necessary and bill the consumer for those services. o Well plannedo Particularly difficult for consumers to detect.o Presumably, an automotive repair shop will advertise cheap specials as a way to get consumers into the shop and then convince consumers that they need certain repairs. • Airbag fraud occurs when mechanics fraudulently repair airbags. o Two types: The first type involves outright fraud in which mechanics clearly intend not to fix the airbag appropriately The second type of airbag fraud is inaccurate repair; mechanics simply fail to repair it correctly• Auto insurance fraud occurs when mechanics dupe the insurance company into paying for unnecessary or nonexistent repairso Types:  Enhancing damages Substituting parts Creating


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