Fraud, Pandemics and Economic Crises since 1850 

Time period: 2020-2022

Description: The study will analyse the best evidence available on the known/plausible links between frauds of different types, pandemics/epidemics since 1850, and economic crises in the Global North. It will seek to draw out the common characteristics and any unique fraud risks from pandemics/economic crises past and present. It will summarise the general influence of online intrusions on contemporary frauds and allied corporate/organised crimes against individuals, businesses and government, using the best available data from around the world. One research goal will be to examine whether there are plausibly any ‘excess frauds’ (by analogy with ‘excess deaths’) additional to what might have been expected anyway, or whether pandemics or any particular economic crisis features are primarily ‘hooks’ for victims. By interviews and (where available) data, it will see what can be learned from contemporary responses to COVID-19 for the impact of anti-fraud communications and preventative/criminal justice actions to the general public.

Contact:  Michael Levi (