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Complete Question Explanation

Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (E)

The paradox presented in this stimulus is the inconsistency between two facts:
  • Telemarketing fraud has become a growingly serious problem.

    There have still been few complaints about such fraud to law enforcement agencies.
The correct response to this question stem will be the one which allows both apparently discrepant facts to be true, or which explains how a growingly serious problem has not resulted in an increasing number of complaints to law enforcement.

Answer choice (A): The stimulus presents a paradox that deals only with the seriousness of the crime of telemarketing fraud and the lack of complaints. This choice deals with telemarketers after they have been convicted of fraud, which would presumably take place after complaints to law enforcement authorities. Since the paradox concerns the small number of complaints (relative to the seriousness of the problem), what happens after conviction is irrelevant to the inquiry and certainly does not resolve the discrepancy.

Answer choice (B): The discrepancy in the stimulus is based on the relatively few complaints that are registered with law enforcement agencies, so a breakdown of those few complaints by type (“most…involve the use of credit cards”) is irrelevant to the paradox presented—this choice would not explain why there have been so few complaints.

Answer choice (C): This answer deals with the fact that for some crimes, there is a “lag time” between the commission of the crime and its discovery. While this might explain why it might be difficult to find the perpetrators of the fraud, it does not explain why complaints would not be registered by the victims upon the later discovery of the crimes.

Answer choice (D): Like incorrect answer (C) above, this choice may explain why it is difficult to catch and convict the criminals, but fails to reconcile the growing seriousness of the crime with the small number of crimes reported.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. If most of the victims of telemarketing fraud fail to report the crimes, then even an increasingly serious problem would not be accompanied by the increase in complaints that we might otherwise expect.
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Pardon my slowness to understand, but I'm still trying to process this answer. The stimulus says "in each of the last ten years," which I take to imply in every year for the last ten years, there have been few complaints. In my mind, I thought C accounts for this by saying victims do not detect they've been bilked until a year or two after. Is this not in line with the stimulus where it says "in each of the last ten years?" So while complaints have been few IN EACH year, over the last ten years, telemarketing fraud is becoming more and more of a serious problem?

I can wrap my head around why E is right, but I'm failing to see how it accounts for the fact that over the last ten years, telemarketing fraud is becoming more and more of a serious problem.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
 Brook Miscoski
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The discrepancy in the stimulus is that telemarketing fraud is becoming a more serious problem, but complaints are few. The response does not need to explain why fraud is a serious problem, only why people are not complaining about it. (E), which states that they don't complain because they are too embarrassed to admit they were duped, adequately explains why people are not complaining about fraud.

Answer choice (C) does not help explain anything, because shifting discovery of the fraud by 1 or 2 years does not explain a 10 year trend.

In this case, what can help you is to think about the discrepancy you need to target and the scope of the discrepancy you are trying to address. You are addressing a 10-year discrepancy in reporting a crime, so that can help you avoid C and choose E.

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