From Psychology Today:

Among crime hoaxes, there's a subset of tricksters who concoct crimes for political causes, says Gregg O. McCrary, a retired FBI agent who profiles criminals as director of Behavioral Criminology International, a consultancy in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This kind of hoaxer is just as likely to be a man as a woman. A recent case occurred last November when Jaime Alexander Saide, a Northwestern University student in Evanston, Illinois, published a column about his Mexican heritage in the campus newspaper after he claimed to be the target of two hate crimes. Saide later confessed to filing false reports to bring attention to campus race relations.

While most reported hate crimes are real, hoaxes often occur on college campuses around the same time as antiracism forums, says Laird Wilcox, who's currently updating his book, Crying Wolf, to include more than 320 staged hate crimes that he's tracked in the U.S. since 1994. Consider the recent case of Kerri Dunn, a social psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, who police suspect may have slashed her own car's tires, smashed its windshield and spray-painted it with racial slurs just hours before speaking at a campus forum against hate crimes last spring. Two eyewitnesses identified her as the culprit shortly after hundreds of students marched to protest the crime. Dunn denies that she staged the attack.

Another big tip-off is when an alleged victim calls the press before calling the police. "These people are not knowledgeable about what a typical crime looks like," McCrary says. "You'll try to find support for their allegations and find the facts don't match up."

Apparently, though general crime hoaxes are committed by women, men are just as likely to stage political crime hoaxes.


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