Someone commits fraud when they intentionally benefit by misleading, manipulating or lying to others. Anyone can commit fraud from individuals, groups of people and businesses.
There are many forms of fraud. Here’s what you should know:
People might try to use mail fraud to take money or personal information from victims by using phone calls, emails or letters. People who are often the targets of mail fraud include small businesses, disabled people, the elderly and unemployed people. One of the biggest examples of mail fraud is the “Nigerian Prince.” Pyramid and Ponzi schemes, free money and sweepstakes are also common mail fraud tactics.
Most people pay for different kinds of insurance. Someone may try to cash out on their insurance by making a fake claim. Alternatively, insurance providers may withhold or reject benefits even though the claimant should benefit from them.
Bank fraud happens when money is stolen from a financial organization. For example, someone may open a new bank account using a fake identity. Or, a business may “cook the books” as a way of making it look more profitable. This is often done to take out more loans.
People who are filing for bankruptcy may transfer an asset to another person so it becomes out of reach from creditors – this is called a fraudulent conveyance. When it’s discovered that someone transferred an asset fraudulently, the creditor may have the asset returned to them by the court.
When someone has their personal information, such as their license, name, address or social security card taken or used without permission, then they have become a victim of identity fraud. Identity fraud is often done so that fraudsters can take out loans, open bank accounts, make transactions or withdraw money from bank accounts.
People who are charged with fraud often face severe fines, lawsuits and incarceration. Understanding their legal defense options can help people who are accused of fraud.