Fraud is any deception that is committed with the intent to gain something valuable, such as money, property, or services, from someone else. It is a crime, and it can have serious consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.
There are many different types of fraud, including:
- Identity theft: This is when someone steals another person's personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, or credit card number, and uses it to commit fraud.
- Credit card fraud: This is when someone uses a credit card without the permission of the cardholder.
- Bank fraud: This is when someone commits fraud against a bank, such as by forging checks or withdrawing money from a bank account without the permission of the account holder.
- Insurance fraud: This is when someone commits fraud against an [insurance)](@leoglossary/leoglossary-insurance company, such as by filing a false insurance claim.
- Investment fraud: This is when someone commits fraud against an investor, such as by selling them a fake investment or promising them a high return on their investment that they cannot deliver.
Fraud can be committed by individuals, businesses, or even governments. It can be committed in person, over the phone, or online.
If you think you may have been the victim of fraud, you should report it to the police and to the appropriate government agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. You should also contact your credit card companies and banks to let them know that you may have been a victim of fraud.
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from fraud, including:
- Be careful about what information you give out online and over the phone.
-Be wary of unsolicited offers for investments or other services.
-Shred any documents that contain your personal information before you throw them away.
-Monitor your credit reports and bank statements regularly for any suspicious activity.
The legal definition of fraud varies slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it generally refers to any intentional deception that is committed with the intent to gain something valuable, such as money, property, or services, from someone else.
To prove fraud in a court of law, the plaintiff must typically show that the defendant:
- Made a false statement of fact.
- Knew that the statement was false or reckless as to its truth.
- Intended to induce the plaintiff to rely on the false statement.
- Caused the plaintiff to rely on the false statement to their detriment.
In some cases, the plaintiff may also be required to show that the defendant benefited from the fraud.
Fraud can be a criminal offense or a civil wrong. If fraud is charged as a criminal offense, the defendant could face jail time and/or a fine. If fraud is charged as a civil wrong, the plaintiff could be awarded damages, such as restitution, punitive damages, and/or attorney's fees.
Here are some examples of fraud:
- A salesperson tells a customer that a product has certain features when it does not.
- A contractor takes money from a homeowner to start a job, but then abandons the job before it is completed.
- An investor sells another investor a fake investment.
- A person files a false insurance claim.
- A bank employee embezzles money from customer accounts.