Fraud in Times of Crisis


Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative; it undoes the teaching of self-help…

While Mahatma Gandhi was referring specifically to British rule over colonial India in the early part of the 20th century, his words have a strong resonance in the current crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Governments across the world have had to take drastic measures, including enforced lockdowns, travel restrictions and the temporary closure of businesses. Such wide-ranging restrictions are justifiable steps to mitigate the spread of a deadly virus and the loss of life. However, the inevitable side effects of the steps that governments have taken include a number of issues to which Gandhi was referring, particularly a noticeable increase in fraudulent activity.