Fraud occurs when someone engages in behavior that is intentionally unfair, misleading, dishonest or manipulative in order to further their own ends. Individuals, groups and businesses can all commit fraudulent activity, and fraud is usually for financial gain.
Fraud is a white-collar crime that carries penalties including fines and jail time if caught. Because each fraud case is unique the penalties and settlement options often depend on court decisions and victims. Here are several kinds of fraud:
1. Mail fraud
Mail fraud involves the use of phones, email or letters to trick victims into giving money, contracts or personal information away. Pyramid scams, Ponzi schemes and sweepstakes are all popular types of mail fraud. Small businesses, people who are unemployed or disabled and the elderly are often targets of mail fraud.
2. Insurance fraud
When someone submits a fake claim to an insurance company with the intent of profiting off of the claim, insurance fraud may occur. On the other hand, if the insurance provider withholds or rejects benefits a claimant is entitled to, insurance fraud may also result.
3. Fraudulent conveyance
Someone may own property and transfer it to the name of another. By putting this item out of reach, someone may be attempting to dodge or deceive creditors. If it is shown that the property was transferred fraudulently, the court may order that it be returned to the creditor.
4. Bank fraud
Bank fraud occurs when someone steals money from financial organizations. Loan fraud is a type of bank fraud that can occur when a criminal steals someone’s identity and applies for loans under the stolen identity. Accounting fraud is another such instance of bank fraud in which a company falsifies financial records to make it appear more prosperous so that it may submit more loan applications.
It’s important to realize that people can get caught up in fraud and fraud investigations very easily, sometimes without knowingly doing anything illegal. If you find yourself or someone you love in the middle of a fraud investigation, the wise thing to do is to find out more about your legal options right away.