An increase in cases of fraud in the healthcare sector caused the number of registered white-collar crimes to rise in Germany last year. As the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) announced on Thursday in Wiesbaden, it increased by 4.2 percent to 51,260 cases compared to the previous year. This is the second increase in a row. Compared to 2019, the number of cases increased by 26.6 percent.
A very extensive investigation into billing fraud in Schleswig-Holstein was primarily responsible for the renewed increase. However, cases of subsidy fraud in connection with the application for corona aid also contributed to this.
According to the BKA, the shift of “acts into the digital space” formed another trend in 2021, especially in connection with the marketing of fraudulent financial investment products. The Internet was used as a so-called instrument of crime in almost 6,350 white-collar crimes registered with the police. That was an increase of 13.6 percent compared to 2020.
According to the police, the offering of false so-called pre-market shares has established itself as a significant phenomenon in investment fraud. These are shares that are initially issued to interested buyers as part of a private placement before a company plans to go public.
The nationwide cases of white-collar crime caused financial damage totaling 2.44 billion euros in 2021. In the previous year, the sum was 3.01 billion euros (minus 18.9 percent), said the Federal Criminal Police Office. The clearance rate was 88.8 percent (2020: 91.5 percent).