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Types of economic crime reported worldwide 2016

In 2016, the most common economic crime was asset misappropriation, or simply putting money or another financial product into the wrong account or otherwise falsifying its ownership. This accounted for 64 percent of economic crimes that year. Other crimes that responding firms experienced included cybercrime and corruption.

What is economic crime?

Economic crime includes any illegal activity in which the primary motive is economic gain. This increasingly involves using information from a data breach, when hackers steal data from a company. Any kind of fraud also applies, including credit card fraud. These kinds of crimes can be difficult to prosecute. For example, a card holder may not notice credit card fraud for weeks or months after it happens, giving the perpetrator a chance to cover his or her tracks.

Less common criminal acts

In addition to data and asset theft, there are less obvious economic crimes. For example, intellectual property infringement is an economic crime, whether that involves fake watches or counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Other “white collar” crimes, such as insider trading and violating antitrust law, are also considered economic crimes.

Types of economic crime reported worldwide in 2016

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Release date

February 2016



Survey time period


Number of respondents

6,337 respondents

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