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Which kind of fraud is worst

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Montresor, Aug 3, 2010.

?

Which kind of fraud do you think is worst?

  1. Tax evasion

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Moonlight work

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Insurance fraud

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. Social security fraud

    7 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. Shoplifting

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Cheating in public transportation

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Cheating your neighbour in a deal

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  8. Internet piracy

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Cheating on an exam

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I "borrowed" this poll from the Danish paper "Jyllands-Posten" (link, in Danish). Simply put, which of the following kinds of fraud do you think is worst:

    - Tax evasion: Cheating on your tax returns and the like.
    - Moonlight work: Working on the side without reporting the income to the tax authorities. (I suppose it's a kind of tax evasion but they made the distinction and I'll go with it.)
    - Insurance fraud: Claiming insurance you're not entitled to.
    - Social security fraud: Receiving social benefits you're not entitled to.
    - Shoplifting: Stealing in shops.
    - Cheating public transportation: Using public transportation without paying.
    - Cheating your neighbour in a deal.
    - Internet piracy: Illegal copying of movies, games, music, etc.
    - Cheating on an exam.

    I would just like to see how the board members' results compare with the readers of what passes for a right-wing newspaper in Denmark. And maybe set off another debate in the Alley. :)
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I went with Insurance Fraud, simply because it is likely the biggest dollar amount involved on a per occurrance basis. Insurance fraud can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on what is insured. I'm not sure if it's the biggest total dollar amount, as there are many more instances each year of a lot of other items on that list.
     
  3. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    @Aldeth: Interesting and well thought-out response. I think many people see insurance fraud as somewhat acceptable because insurance companies are often viewed as greedy corporations who try to cheat their clients, so it's only fair to cheat them back.

    My own answer was Cheating on an exam. I went through university to earn my degree and would hate to see somebody "earn" a similar degree by taking a shortcut.
     
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    I went with Cheating your neighbor. That takes guts to cheat someone that you will actually continue to have a relationship with.

    However, the correct answer to the quiz should be "A politician using his/her office for personal gain".
     
  5. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    A toss-up between tax evasion and moonlighting. Tax evasion is HUGE in some European countries costing the government billions of dollars, it also can be a sign of corruption and inefficient administration, the same goes for moonlighting. I really don't know which of the two is worse and differentiating the two is a bit difficult. These are the two with the far worst potential social consequences and therefore I choose them.
     
  6. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] I think each of these votes are going to end up being personal peeves :D

    Voted benefit fraud, probably because I have so much trouble with the bloody forms and due to the number of claimants on disability, income support, housing benefit, they're reforming the whole procedure which means even more paperwork, medical examinations, checks, random fraud investigations, tailing...

    An MP even blamed national debt in the UK on people claiming disability living allowance - even estimating the MAJORITY of claimants were fraudulantly living off their DLA.

    Tax evasion, pretty indiscriminate, it's petty, selfish and ultimately is to the detriment of the entire community paid to. Moonlight work can apply to tax evasion or benefit fraud, depending on how flagrant it is it could be a symptom of a problem with the existing system forcing certain groups to require external work or is a symptom of a selfish group feeling they deserve more. Cheating on a deal, especially with a neighbour is harsh, unfair and several other similar terms, it is an open disregard for that person, their home and their friends by involving yourself in a deal for the detriment of someone who came to trust you.

    Shoplifting is harmful in a direct chain of people, it is theft from a specific person and property, usually completely impersonal and brattish behaviour. Public transport, in the UK, is mainly used by those who get a discount on it or free as a family benefit of having a close relative working for the company, it's usually a system that will run regardless of how many passengers are aboard the vessel, it is theft, but easy to see why some feel it is harmless to skip a ticket now and then between a single station. Internet piracy is again, theft, yes it's making a copy not physical, yet most games come with a demo now, if you had no intention of buying the game but just wanted to try it out a demo can serve that just as well. I concede a lot of demos are dumb, but that's how it is, same with films, you'll go to see it based on a trailer, at least most video game demos are more than 30 seconds.

    Cheating an exam is perhaps the longest term consequences, you essentially build your life from lying upon qualifications. Perhaps it also means it is the easiest to weed out with the maximum amount of damage incurred. Qualifications are usually obtained with a career in mind, following a career to be turned down for lack of experience or suspiciously short working records at every company where you fail your probation due to sloppy standards should kick in. If an exam is cheated on, yet the person cheating goes on to be succesful in their career path related to it - perhaps the exam in question needs revising if it requires breaking to be passed. I've taken pretty much all my exams in isolation, I guess cheating has never really cropped up as a consideration for me as a result, I have more issue with ensuring completeness of coursework then half an hour of mindless questions. I consider it practice for dealing with the general public :p

    Personally, I think I view benefit fraud as the inherently malicious one specifically. There is a limited pool of government resources that can be shared out in benefit form, between the different benefits. People cheating that system are not just taking from taxpayers, they're not harming a public system that the money would have gone to instead either - they're directly taking the opportunity to claim money for themselves that is taken from a share of cash that is reserved for those who can't necessarily stand up for themselves. They belittle and trivialise the struggle of thousands of lives who NEED that money to try and live decent lives by acting like they are entitled to it for minor or selfish reasons.
     
  7. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Phew ... it's not listed. I feel better now.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Obviously, I have no idea what career you are involved in, but from my experience, very little of your education gets directly transferred to your career. In that regard, I think it would be very hard to discover cheating after the fact, because chances are there was very little, if anything, on that particular exam that applies to your job performance. I think it would be quite easy to go on to be successful in a given career after cheating on an exam, simply because you probably use less than 5% of what you learn to do your job. I'm not saying it's OK - it's not - but to imply that you are unqualified for a particular position because you cheated on an exam here or there is a stretch.

    Well, you might not continue having a relationship with them after that...
     
  9. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I would say internet piracy. Stealing the internet would be really bad.
     
  10. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Tell that to the billion people who are cheating on their spouses or significant others! ;)
     
  11. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I said cheating on an exam because in that case you are hurting nobody but yourself. I think simply hurting yourself is worse than hurting everybody else and benefitting from it in the process.
     
  12. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I wanted to write exactly the same thing. This is a problematic poll because it's not quite obvious whether it's meant to gauge what we think does the most damage to those who get defrauded or what we think is ethically or morally the most problematic. One of the classic polling errors...
     
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    At least not a cordial one. But you will eventually run into people in a community (say the supermarket or the mall)

    I'm working on the assumption that this was a fraud that both parties are aware of, whereas cheating on a spouse involves secrecy.
     
  14. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Tell that to the quarter-billion people who are cheating on their spouses or significant others openly! ;)

    (I'm being cute here, but that actually does happen quite a lot nowadays.)
     
  15. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Social security fraud because it creates so much problems. We build a system to help the people who really need it, if that system then gets defrauded everything comes tumbling down and mistrust spreads like a cancer throughout the system making it that much harder for the people who actually need and deserve help to get it. It undermines the entire concept of the welfare state and if you like I think it is a very good concept then it is bad. Tax evasion is basically the same thing but for some reason it doesn't generate the mistrust that social security fraud does.
     
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    I say Social Security Fraud is marginally worse than the other ones in that in many cases the people perpetrating it have never contributed a red cent to the pot and are therefore completely living off the work sweat of others.

    At least in the case of private insurance, a person has paid in a bit in the form of fees, and so they have done SOMETHING to contribute before ripping the system off. But in the end, they are still living off the work of others.

    To me, the least problematic is moonlighting. In this case, they are working (which is a good thing, IMHO, assuming that the work they are doing is legal) and people who work legally always get more of my respect than those who don't work at all. Now, they should pay their fair share to the government, of course, to support public works and all, but I find keeping what you have earned through the sweat of your brow to be less vile than taking what others have worked for because you are a lazy, good for nothing brother in law . . . . I mean, jerk!
     
  17. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Social Security fraud and Tax Evasion should both be on top, as they amount to similar results. Both of these are situations where an individual harms the community as a whole, and where a great many individuals may bring complete ruin on the majority.

    Insurance fraud should come next, as that's another individual-harms-multitude situation, but more limited (instead of the entire nation, it's just your insurance pool).

    Cheating on an exam depends on the exam. If you're talking a highschool or even college exam, I think you wind up doing yourself more harm than anyone else. If you're talking a licensing exam, though, like the Professional Engineering Exam, or the Bar Exam, I think it's a lot more serious. You're potentially killing people there.

    The others seem like comparatively small fries, either because only a few are being hurt or because not too many people do it. For example, a lot of people pirate games and music, but only the game/music producers are hurt. That's bad, don't get me wrong, but shrinking the entertainment industry isn't likely to result in the collapse of society.
     
  18. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I went for social security fraud. It's usually an indication that the person in question is contributing nothing to society, which is placing an undue burden on those who do work.

    Insurance did come to mind, as said before it probably involves the highest amounts at once. Cheating a neighbour was the other one I disliked. If you've willing to be unfair in your dealing with your friends then you're likely to be even worse with others. It's an emotional thing.

    It may be a cultural thing but while tax evasion has become unacceptable around here moonlighting is usually considered fair game. It generally concerns things like plumbers doing odd jobs after hours. If they were taxed on it most probably wouldn't bother doing it.
     
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    Why is, "The kind the targets me," not an option?
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, most of them on the list do exactly that. People who, for example, cheat insurance companies cause premiums to rise for everyone else. People who cheat the social security system (not individually, but collectively) cause higher contributions from others. Others don't target you, obviously. Cheating a neighbor doesn't affect you unless you are the neighbor.
     
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