03 Aug 23


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Last Updated on: 4th August 2023, 02:01 pm

Being charged with fraud is a very serious criminal offense. Fraud can be charged on both the federal and state level, depending on the case. Fraud is generally a white collar crime and typically does not involve any forms of violence. Usually, crimes of fraud are driven by money, with the perpetrator gaining a profit from the fraudulent act. Fraud is intentionally engaging in deceptive acts or misrepresentation in order to achieve personal gain. Fraud can be tried both civilly and criminally. Fraudulent acts generally include misrepresentation, false statements, or conduct that is deceitful. Fraudulent acts are primarily committed in order to gain something that is of value through deceiving or misleading a person into believing something that the perpetrator knows is false.

Types of Fraud
There are several different types of fraud that an individual can commit. The most common types of fraud include:

  • Wire fraud- involves committing a fraudulent act over the phone.
  • Bankruptcy fraud- involves concealing assets during bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Tax fraud- involves concealment of earnings in order to avoid paying taxes.
  • Credit card fraud- involves stealing another individual’s credit card numbers in order to withdraw money or purchase items.
  • Insurance fraud- involves the act of using another person’s name or information as well as falsifying personal records.
  • Healthcare fraud- involves the act of using another person’s name or information as well as falsifying records.
  • Mail fraud- includes claiming another persons mail or sending checks that are forged through the mail.
  • Bank fraud- can include falsification of identity or forging a check in order to withdraw money from the bank.

Criminal Fraud
In order to be charged with criminal fraud, a person must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the evidence that has been collected in a case proves that there is no doubt that the person being charged committed the crime. The criminal charges for fraud vary depending on the type of fraud committed and the amount of money lost. Frauds that involve large amounts of money may also include additional penalties such as extra prison time.

Civil Fraud
Civil fraud may be charged under several circumstances including:

  • Misrepresentation of facts in order to obtain something from another person
  • An injury occurs due to the misrepresentation committed
  • The victim is reliant on the misrepresentation

Individuals convicted of fraud in a civil court may be ordered to pay restitution (i.e., paying the victim back) or paying a substantial fine.

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Fraud Warning Signs
Different types of fraud have different warning signs. A warning fraud for a wire fraud may be receiving a phone call from a caller you do not recognize that asks for you to send them payment for an offer. Another red flag of fraud may be if an unknown caller asks for your social security number or your last known address. Other red flags of fraud include strangers asking for your credit card or drivers license information or receiving unsolicited mail asking for payment on an account you did not open.

Businesses can also be affected by fraud. Owners of businesses should be aware of warning signs that may indicate fraud. Other individuals that may be affected by fraud include loan agents, landlords, and small business owners. Individuals who commit fraud against businesses often leave false references and provide fake phone numbers and addresses on applications.

What to Do If You Are the Victim of Fraud
If you are the victim of fraud, there are many resources that may help you. The are multiple organizations and entities that are geared toward helping victims of fraud. Most of the time victims of fraud are not able to recover the property or money that was stolen from them. Hiring a lawyer may help you better navigate your state’s laws regarding fraud.