White collar crime is a lot more common than you might think. Are you doing what you need to do to protect yourself and your financial assets? A new app could potentially be the answer to prevent you from becoming a victim.
White Collar Crime Risk Zones, also known as WCCRZ, is a useful new website and app that allows users to view the number of white collar criminals in a specific neighborhood. Created by a team of technologists with New Inquiry, the open source tool uses data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The development of WCCRZ was modeled after other “predictive policing” apps used by authorities to pinpoint potential trouble areas. For example, by looking at an area’s past criminal history and demographics, authorities can piece together a prediction of what to expect in the future. By using crime-predicting algorithms, this app could help you find where the financial danger is lurking. After all, money crimes don’t always happen in a dark alley. On the contrary, they usually happen right in the daylight.
The app is reshaping the way the world looks at crime. While the spotlight is usually shined on crimes taking place in poor neighborhoods, White Collar Crime Risk Zones is raising awareness about a lesser talked about issue: financial crimes. Becoming a victim of money fraud or other white collar crime can be devastating. You might be a victim and not even realize it until it is too late.
While other “crime detecting” apps have done more harm than good, such as promoting racial profiling or targeting poorer neighborhoods, White Collar Crime Risk Zones’ developers explain that their app will help people realize that crime could be happening right in their own backyard.
“Those aren’t shady neighborhoods, those are neighborhoods where people live,” technologist, Sam Lavigne explained to Business Insider. “The shady neighborhoods are where no one lives and all of this financial crime is happening. What’s going on there is pretty shady.”
So, if financial crime is so hard to detect, how can White Collar Crime Risk Zones help someone? Lavigne explains that the app will send a notification to the user to alert them to be on the look out. Using its plethora of data, the app is able to detect when the user is in an area where financial crimes have taken place or is the current location of white collar criminals. After all, these nonviolent crimes are committed by business professionals and institutions.
From credit card fraud to embezzling, this app can be another layer of protection for you and your financial assets. However, with more than 20,000 white collar criminal cases a year in the United States alone, it is important to know what to do if you find yourself a victim. One of the most important things you can do is find reputable legal support.
“White collar crime victims have been taken advantage of,” Gus Kostopoulos, a criminal attorney in Chicago explains. “It is important that they have they have an experienced legal team to help guide them through the process of the case.”
As technology continues to advance, white collar crimes will only become more and more prevalent. Besides downloading apps, such as White Collar Crime Risk Zones, it is also important to educate yourself on the signs of white collar crime. If you know the warning signs, you can avoid becoming at risk.