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This article puts light on the concept of white-collar crimes in India. White-collar Crime belongs to educated and qualified people. It is mainly related to the higher class of society and their occupation. In this article, the author highlighted the differentiation between white-collar crimes and blue-collar crimes. In this article, the author tried to focus on types of white-collar crimes and their origin. The analysis of white-collar crimes shows no. of causes and circumstances for those crimes and criminal mentalities.  This article concluded with laws related to white-collar crimes and suggestions to stop those kinds of crimes.


India is one of the most growing economies since 2014, but the Indian government facing new types of challenges in the crime sector. Growth in GDP is a mandatory, some white-collar crimes hiking with development. White-collar is one kind of Crime that emerged after the year 2000 when India is boosted with MNC, corporates, and Digitalization. White-collar crimes are the crimes committed by high social status and class, mainly related to their occupation. the salaried people or business people do financial fraud or theft, which are considered “White-collar Crimes.” The people who commit those crimes have a better understanding of technology, digital knowledge, their respective fields, disciplines, etc. The criminal profile has changed from traditional Crime to white-collar crimes last few decades, and large no. of organizations are involved in large no of activities, which are ended with some of the white-collar crimes. So we can say that these crimes are mainly related to e-commerce, digital wallets, corporation, e-banking, education, and management, etc. Today’s young generation needs fast growth and easy money. Those weaknesses baffled youngsters and trained them as a chronic white-collar criminal.  


The famous American sociologist Edwin Sutherland defined “White-collar crimes” in 1939. He described those crimes committed by high status or class people of society compared to ordinary employees—white-collar crimes placed in criminology for the first time in the year 1941.


White Collar Crimes are pervasive in almost all professions and occupations in the higher class society. These crimes are common to the business, and the corporate world, e-commerce, online transactions, e-trade, e-banking, digital signature, digital money, and violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and export and import laws are resorted to making huge profits.

There are different types of white-collar crimes. Some of them are as follows:

  • Bank/E-banking Fraud: Bank Fraud means to engage in such activities to defraud a bank or use illegal means to obtain assets held by financial institutions.
  • Blackmail: Blackmail means demand for money, valuables, properties, or jewelry by threatening some person to cause physical injury or exposing his secrets.
  • Bribery: Bribery means offering money, valuables, goods, or any gift to someone to control his actions and put his demands in front of them. It is a severe crime, either someone offers or accepts a bribe.
  • Computer Fraud: Computer frauds are such frauds that involve hacking, stealing, or breaking privacy and security related to others’ information.
  • Embezzlement: When someone entrusted with money, assets, or property uses it for his use, it is embezzlement.
  • Extortion: When a person illegally obtains someone’s property, money, assents by actual or threatened force.
  • Insider-Trading: When someone uses the highly secured and confidential information to trade in shares of publicly held corporations.
  • Money-Laundering: Money Laundering means the concealment of origin of illegally obtained money.
  • Tax fraud: Tax fraud means evading tax by providing wrong information in tax forms or unlawfully transferring property to avoid taxes.
  • E-wallet fraud: Digital money or E-wallet related complaints are growing day by day due to illegal transactions or online money-related fraud.


Blue-collar crimes are related to lower-middle social class, and white-collar crimes are related to higher class and status people. Blue-collar crimes are usually small-scale and their purpose of committing them for immediate gain or satisfaction at a low level. Blue-collar Crime is often a direct act due to basic needs, feelings, and emotions, mainly driven by the reaction, e.g., fighting after a poorly executed drug deal, robberies, or shoplifting. As compare to blue-collar crimes, white-collar crimes are very elaborate and nonviolent. Those are committed with a stable mind, intelligence, and brainpower. The large organization, companies are involved in white-collar Crime related to money, property, and unpaid taxes.


The general analysis says that white-collar crimes are committed because of the greed of money or economic instabilities in the profession. These crimes are also committed because of situational pressure, competition, or success greed. However, there are various reasons for white-collar crimes.

  • Easy going attitude: Nowadays, life is fast and furious, and people are unstable. Due to shortcuts or greed, many offenders commit crimes and convinced themselves that their actions are not criminal. Their easy-going attitude makes them white-collar criminals.
  • Not realizable: Some people advocate themselves in committing crimes as they feel that the government regulations do not understand the practical issues, problems of competing in the free enterprise system.
  • Lack of awareness: One of the main reasons for white-collar Crime is the lack of people’s knowledge. This nature of the Crime is profoundly different from traditional crimes, and people rarely understand white-collar crimes and became the victims of crimes.
  • Greed: Greed comes from wishes and aspirations, which is another motivation of the commission of a crime. Some people think that everyone is violating the laws, so it is not bad if they do the same.
  • Necessity: Necessity and needs are other factors in committing crimes. People commit white-collar crimes to satisfy their needs, ego, or support their family.


White-collar crimes are increasing in India, with development in e-commerce and technology. The latest event like Make in India, Digital India, and Start-up India brought new communication and technology dimensions related to computers or the internet. White-collar crimes can be found in every industry and profession, but mainly in Education, Engineering, IT, Trade & Business, Medical Profession, and society. The white-collar crimes are increasing daily; it gives hurt to the community on a large scale. In India, for those crimes have no proper administration and regulation. Therefore there is a need to aware, train, and protect ordinary people about those crimes, methods of Crime (mainly about online reactions), and criminal intentions. The Santhanam Committee Report presented a picture of white-collar crimes committed by high status or class people. The report started MNC, big corporations, business tycoon; class one government officers are responsible for white-collar crimes.  The first case of white-collar Crime in India was Mundhra’s case. It was India’s first bib financial scam called a Mundhra scandal.  It was related to 1.26 Crores, and Mundhra was sentenced for 22 years in prison.


The government of India has introduced various laws, rules, and regulations to control on white-collar crimes.

  • Intellectual Property Act
  • Information Technology Act, 2000
  • Indian Contract Act
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
  • Essential Commodities Act 1955
  • The Industrial (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951
  • The Import and Exports (Control) Act, 1947
  • The Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act, 1974
  • Fintech Law – Especially for Baking and finance transactions

There are some acts to control the white-collar crimes. Some of them are aware of crimes and give guidance to take precautions during personal and professional life transactions. The tribunals related to those white-collar have the power to provide sentences up to 5 years and conviction with hefty fines rather than arrest and detention of criminals.


–           Use the OTP system while doing any transactions.

–           Keep security about passwords.

–           Do not give KYC details on an Open online platform.

–           Read terms and conditions before clicking or submitting any form.

–           Keep your digital signature private and secure.

–           Do not use unverified or untrusted apps or e-commerce websites.

–           Do not invest money in any fraud schemes or financial institution without verification.


White-collar Crime is a global problem, and it’s loomed into every country and every city. Various researches proved that financial and economic losses are related to white-collar crimes on technology platforms. White-collar crimes are not adequately structured in codes or criminal sentences. The dimensions and methods of white-collar crimes are vast to manage in Indian Penal code. The elimination of white-collar Crime is next to impossible. These crimes curtailed India’s economic and financial growth. We cannot ignore the existence of those crimes. So the government should start special tribunal, and they should take strict and immediate actions on such crimes. All banks, digital wallets, corporates, institutions, or business chambers should take care of data and personal information. Multi-layer security is prime security on all kinds of online truncations. All e-commerce or e-banking should apply bio-metric for transactions so that cyber-crimes will be reduced. Private and government sectors should take combined action against online transaction related mal-activities, fake users, and other kinds of fraud. Indian Penal Code should be amended for white-collar crimes.  Our GDP should increase with all types of security. Then only we can put limitations on white-collar crimes. The government should boost youngsters to start new technology start-ups related to the protection of mobile apps or e-commerce websites and complaint filing. If any crime is committed due to a lack of knowledge, those should be solved with proper guidance and fines.

Author(s) Name: Dr. Shivangi Zarkar (Advocate & Corporate Counsel)