What is pink collar crime?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2019 | white collar crimes

Pink collar crime may seem like a clever phrase invented by Hollywood to entice people in Missouri to watch an innovative new true-crime program. However, according to FraudBeat, the term describes a real phenomenon. As a matter of fact, even if you are not familiar with the term it is older than you might think. Its first use was in a Criminology Magazine article 30 years ago. 

Because the color pink is strongly associated with femininity, you may think that pink collar crime refers to crimes that women commit. That is not necessarily the case. Pink collar crime refers to crimes of fraud or embezzlement usually undertaken by employees who are on the lower levels of the organization, so cannot engage in more significant, and often more well-publicized, white collar crimes like insider trading. Nevertheless, these lower-level employees have access to or control over finances. This access allows them to take business money for their own benefit through means such as cash skimming, wire transfers and forged checks.

Then, as now, most women did not work in the highest levels of prominent companies and corporations and so were not in a position to commit high-profile white-collar crimes. Therefore, the type of fraud most likely to occur on lower levels of an organization came to be associated with female perpetrators, which is why the author in Criminology Magazine coined a term for it that evoked femininity. Nevertheless, both male and female financial employees on the lower levels of a company have the potential to commit pink collar crimes. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.