Not everyone has the same financial knowledge and skills as a certified accountant, but they must fulfill their financial obligations regardless. Filing taxes and accomplishing insurance requirements are not always straightforward. Therefore, it is possible to commit fraud accidentally and unintentionally.
How can you accidentally commit fraud?
Accidental fraud can happen because you do not know the extent of your legal responsibilities, but it can also occur when you make simple errors. Here are common circumstances where you could be accidentally committing fraud:
- Reporting the wrong income in your tax return
- Overstating expenses
- Wrongfully claiming deductions
- Filing an incorrect tax return
- Using another person’s credit card
- Making errors on a credit card application
- Disputing legitimate credit card purchases you may have forgotten about
- Failing to update your insurance information
- Getting your insurance information wrong
- Accepting an overpayment of your unemployment benefits
Although these errors and practices may seem inconsequential, they can lead to fraud charges. You may not even realize what you are doing or what you have done until allegations of fraud against you arise.
Is it a crime to commit fraud accidentally?
Fraud is only a crime if the perpetrator who committed the act intended to deceive another party for personal gain or to deprive the party of their rights. If you committed fraud accidentally, you had no intention to deceive or mislead another person or entity. However, that does not mean you cannot face charges for committing accidental fraud. The prosecution will need to prove intent to convict you of a crime. You must build a solid defense strategy because you could go to jail for an honest mistake.