Would you be a successful criminal?

While crime and corruption come in many forms, some choices are better than others. Take this quiz, compiled by Prof. Carolyn Nordstrom's Global Crime and Corruption class at the University of Notre Dame, to see how you stack up!

Patrick S
Created by Patrick S
On May 5, 2014

If you were to buy/traffic an organ from someone, who would be your victim?

If you were to counterfeit a pharmaceutical, what would you counterfeit?

On what platform would you sell counterfeit pharmaceuticals?

You've decided to counterfeit a food. Which one do you choose?

What would you spend your food stamps on if you could choose any of the following?

You’re a cashier at a convenience store in Vermont trying to make some extra money. What drug do you sell?

You are attempting to start a cartel that distributes drugs from the south of Mexico into the Southwest US. Where is the most lucrative point to set up your headquarters?

It’s a Friday night, what are you doing?

You’re planning an art heist, what do you choose to rob?

Where would you source an organ from?

Who, in the illegal wildlife business, is most likely to be caught?

Where would you buy an illegal pet?

You’re not only an organ trafficker but an organ trafficker BOSS.

You’re not only an organ trafficker but an organ trafficker BOSS.

You’re not only an organ trafficker but an organ trafficker BOSS. You are the crème de la crème of criminals. You're street smarts and ability to think about the intricacies of a life of crime mean that you are able to navigate the shadowy world of organ trafficking with ease. With the worldwide shortage of legally donated organs, you thrive on the black-market income you generate from the sales of illegally obtained organs that supplement the gap between the demand for and supply of organs. You are not above coercing, deceiving, and abducting people to make a profit. You know that there are poor, desperate people who would sell their organs for a very small amount of money and that there are relatively affluent people who would pay a fortune for organs that would save their lives and those of their loved ones.
Organs overwhelmingly flow from poor people in developing countries to rich people in developed countries and the traffickers make an enormous profits. Because of the doctors, transporters, organ bank employees and many other links in the vast networks organ trafficking, there is a very small chance of all of a trafficking ring to get busted, so there’s not much chance of getting caught.

You are a regional drug lord!

You are a regional drug lord!

You are a regional drug lord! You are responsible for the distribution of several street drugs throughout a large region of the United States. You receive shipments from overseas, sourcing your drugs from a variety of location including South America, China, and the Middle East. You have only one man above you in the chain, an international kingpin who you rarely see. He runs the entire business from an area close to where the drugs are produced, giving him control of the entire operation and maximizing his share of the profits. You are in charge of your area and maintain your power through a sharp business acumen and overwhelming force. You are still getting the knack of the international politics involved in the shipments of drugs across international borders, but are extremely knowledgeable about your area. Through intuitive knowledge of the many moving parts of the drug trade, you are able to streamline distribution processes and maximize profits. You “get it”, and are making sure you are one of the top candidates for control of the entire operation upon your kingpin’s inevitable demise.

Street drugs have long been an enormous source of profits on the extralegal market. Though demand for individual drugs fluctuate over time, demand for illegal drugs in general seems to be constant. In recent times, heroin is undergoing a time of extreme popularity, as its availability is high and its price is low. Rural areas of smaller states like Vermont and New Hampshire have become unexpected hotbeds of heroin use, where citizens have progressed from pharmaceutical abuse to the cheaper and more potent intravenous drug. As a drug lord, you exploit knowledge like this, flooding the street with your product and ensuring addiction takes firm hold, all while maintaining a safe distance to protect yourself.


In 2014 the New York Times reported on the heroin epidemic gripping Rutland, VT stating, “Block by block, this city in central Vermont has been fighting a heroin epidemic so entrenched that it has confounded all efforts to combat it.” Drug epidemics and demands for specific drugs vary widely across the US and smart dealers tap into these varied markets and monopolize on local and regional markets.

The Mexican drug cartels have moved their operations closer to the source of the cocaine they smuggle across the US border by relocating to Colombia. By controlling production and trafficking, cartels make much more money, and this trend has been seen across cultures and different drugs.

You are a counterfeit pharmaceutical manufacturer!

You are a counterfeit pharmaceutical manufacturer!

You are a counterfeit pharmaceutical manufacturer! You understand that the demand for pharmaceuticals is skyrocketing, making it a very lucrative market. Developing drugs legally is a cost-exhaustive and lengthy process. Today, legitimate pharmaceuticals are too costly and people are willing to get their drugs from alternative suppliers. Over-the-counter drugs can be counterfeited in many ways including: misbranding, mislabeling of ingredients, exclusion of active ingredients, or incorrect dosage.

Counterfeit pharmaceutical businesses have the greatest chance of profit in developed countries like the US. Here, the drugs in highest demand are “lifestyle drugs,” including: erectile dysfunction medications, weight loss medications, and hormones. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are sold on illegitimate pharmacy sites that allow consumers to purchase any of the following: unapproved drugs, legal prescription drugs dispensed without a valid prescription, products that are marketed with fraudulent health claims, or counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

Should counterfeiting not pan out for you, don’t fret - the smuggling of legitimate pharmaceuticals is also a viable option. These pills often follow the routes already established by the extralegal narcotics trade.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10% of pharmaceuticals in circulation globally are counterfeit, which is a likely a conservative estimate. The demand is there, so get out your Photoshop and chemistry kit and get going!

Learn more: http://www.phrma.org/counterfeit-drugs

You are an illegal wildlife smuggler!

You are an illegal wildlife smuggler!

You are an illegal wildlife smuggler! While you may not have the brains and money to lead a criminal syndicate- you stand at the middle ground of your crime. You’ve tried different means of smuggling: you’ve driven parrots in the middle consol across the US/Mexican border, you’ve put a baby tiger in your suitcase, and maybe even tied pygmy monkeys to your underwear. You are much less likely to be caught by the police than the poor people that you employ to poach the animals- but be careful because your boss probably sees you as expendable.
Wildlife crime is often used as a laundering scheme for other types of crime, including drugs, weapons and humans. This raises Wildlife to a multi-billion dollar industry yearly.

You are an art criminal in charge of stealing the art!

You are an art criminal in charge of stealing the art!

You are an art criminal in charge of stealing the art! While this means you may lack the intensity and gusto of some of your superiors, you still are pretty successful. You may not have the opportunity to make quite as much money as your dangerous/outwardly violent counterparts, but your desire to play it safe also pays off monetarily. You are less likely to go to jail, as the legal ramifications for art forgery and theft are relatively minor. Your intelligence leads you to this type of intellectual crime; however, many art criminals throughout history have been notoriously idiotic in their crimes.

While the concept of art crime may seem like the makings of a Hollywood screenplay, Interpol estimates that art crime is the fourth largest organized crime after drugs, human trafficking, and arms deals. Although it is impossible to accurately judge, art crime is also believed to be the third-highest-grossing criminal trade. Notable heists include the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist where thieves stole approximately $300 million worth of certified masterpieces. These works have yet to be recovered.

But the crimes don’t stop with stealing art. Art crime is strongly linked to violent crimes due to art often being held up as collateral for more dangerous deals, like human trafficking. As art is more easily transported across borders, these criminals are rarely caught.

To learn more about art crime and see how you can become an expert criminal, click here: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/arttheft

You are a food stamp trafficker!

You are a food stamp trafficker!

You are a food stamp trafficker! Crime may not be for you. Out of a small country store, you illegally exchange food stamps for cash, gasoline, alcohol, and other off-limits goods for a small profit. You may be doing it to serve the community or to make some extra cash, but this can amount up to millions in food stamp fraud. Despite the low level of fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), investigators from the US Food and Nutrition Service aggressively target food stamp traffickers, and your chances of getting caught are high. Brush up on your criminal mindset and try this quiz again!

To find out more about food stamp trafficking in the US, check out some of these great sources: