It is not a fun time to be reading mainstream media or listening to the news. The world as we know it has changed dramatically and we are all playing catch up. As our focus is security and helping our customers stay safe we have been playing close attention to the media reports of increased crime.
Cyber-crime is a major area of concern with those self-isolating at home online and vulnerable to scams, particularly the elderly. A further concern is criminals posing as medical practitioners requesting, and gaining, access to personal medical data. The strong message is to stay alert and protect your personal information at all times.
Here we share a few short excerpts from a broad range of media outlets:
”A laid-off worker has incentives to shift the use of time toward illicit earnings opportunities since displacements reduce legal earnings opportunities. At the same time, dismissals lessen the opportunity cost of a worker’s time during the period of unemployment.”
“The old adage that idle hands are the devil’s workshop appears to have some truth to it,” said Votruba. “This unfortunate link (to weekday crimes) highlights the importance of psychological factors–such as mental distress, self-control, financial concerns and frustration–in determining counterproductive behavior.”
#zmescience.com story coronavirus layoffs crime Dated: 16/03/2020
^Excerpt marketwatch story
“Everyday life has essentially stopped in many countries in a bid to slow the virus, and some crimes have been declining. But reports of virus-related fraud are on the rise, along with concerns about hate crimes.”
The United Kingdom’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received more than 100 reports of virus-related scams, with losses totalling more than $1.1 million (970,000 pounds).
Meanwhile, marketing schemers have quickly pivoted to offering “senior care packages” that include hand sanitizer or even a purported vaccine, which doesn’t exist. Some falsely claim that Trump has ordered that seniors get tested.
It’s all a trick to get personal information that can be used to bill federal and state health programs, health officials said.
“It’s a straight-up ruse to get your Medicare number or your Social Security number under the guise of having a test kit or a sanitary kit sent to you,” Christian Schrank, assistant inspector general for investigations at Health and Human Services.”
^marketwatch.com story coronavirus related crimes are on the rise dated: 2020-03-25
“According to a new study of 1 million laid-off Norwegians^^ over 15 years, out-of-work people commit 60% more property crimes (such as theft, shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism) in the year after losing work and have 20% more criminal charges than when employed.++”
^^ sciencedirect.com research article
So consider these questions:
- When people lose their paychecks, do they turn to crime more often?
- When people are at home more, does that deter crime?
- Will crime rates fall when police aren’t charging criminals the same way they used to?
++ poynter.org article ‘how will corona virus related closures and quarantines affect crime rates’