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What is Fraud?

Michael Pollick
Updated: May 16, 2024

Fraud is a deliberate misrepresentation that causes a person or business to suffer damages, often in the form of monetary losses. All of these elements are usually required for an act to be considered fraud; if someone lied about his name, for example, it would not be fraud unless in so doing, the person caused someone else to lose money or suffer some other damage. There are many different types, from identity theft to insurance fraud to falsifying tax information, and making false statements can often be one element of another crime. Although usually prosecuted in criminal court, fraud can also be tried under civil law.

Elements of Fraud

While different jurisdictions may have their own definitions, under common law in the United States, fraud includes the following elements:

  • a representation, or statement, of fact;
  • the falsity of that representation — the statement must be untrue;
  • the statement must be material, meaning that it is important or relevant;
  • the speaker must know the statement is false;
  • the speaker intends the statement to be relied on;
  • the hearer does not know the statement is not true;
  • the hearer relies on the truth of the statement to make a decision;
  • the hearer's right to rely on the statement — the hearer has no reason to think the statement might not be true; and
  • the hearer must suffer some kind of damages.

Put simply, the speaker must tell a lie about something important that he knows is a lie, and which he intends the hearer to believe to be the truth. The hearer must not know that it's a lie, have no reason to think the lie might not be true, and must depend on that lie to make a decision. The hearer's decision to depend on the lie as the truth must then cause some damage to the hearer.


There are many types of fraud, but fraudulent activities can usually be grouped into three basic categories: government, employee, and consumer. Government fraud involves activities designed to deceive the government or a business; tax or insurance fraud would be included in this group. Employee fraud is when a worker defrauds his or her employer, such as through embezzlement or falsifying expense reports. Consumer fraud includes cons and is designed to bilk an individual out of money, such as through telemarketing or investment scams.

Some cases involve complicated financial transactions conducted by so-called white-collar criminals, those business professionals with specialized knowledge and criminal intent. An unscrupulous investment broker may present clients with an opportunity to purchase shares in precious metal repositories, for example. His status as a professional investor gives him credibility, which can lead to his having the trust of potential clients. Those who believe the opportunity to be legitimate may contribute substantial amounts of cash and receive authentic-looking bonds in return. If the investment broker knows that no such repositories exist and still receives payments for worthless bonds, then he can be accused of defrauding his clients.

Fraud as an Element of Other Crimes

In many cases, fraud is just one element of a larger crime that must be proven. For example, someone who steals another person's identity — pretending to be someone else for financial or other gain — might be charged with criminal impersonation or identity theft rather than fraud. In such cases, fraud might be considered the method by which the second crime was committed.

Types of Fraudulent Statements

Generally speaking, a false representation is a statement that is not true. This does not include opinions or boasts, however; a salesperson who claims that one model of television is the best the customer will ever see is not making a statement of fact. The customer should know better than to rely on such a comment, also known as puffery, and thus likely has no case for fraud should a better television be found.

In some cases, a person may be guilty of fraud if he has reasonable suspicion that a statement of fact was not true but did not say anything about it. If an account representative has witnessed events that lead him to believe the insurance policy that he is selling is fraudulent, but he sells it anyway, his silence on the matter could be considered a false statement. In addition, it may be considered fraud if a person has the responsibility to know and disclose some fact to his client, but does not. For example, a real estate agent representing a buyer must disclose if a house he is selling is in a high crime area; if the agent doesn't do the required research to find this out, it may be considered fraud even if he was not aware of the fact, because it was his responsibility to know.

Proving Fraud

It can be difficult to prove fraud in a court of law. Laws may vary from state to state and from country to country, but several conditions usually must be met. One of the most important things that must be proven is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. This involves proving the speaker or seller knew — or had a good reason to believe — that the information was incorrect, the product was defective, or the investment was worthless.

An employee of a large company, for example, may sell a product or offer a service without personal knowledge of a deception. An account representative who sells a fraudulent insurance policy on behalf of an unscrupulous employer may not have known at the time of the sale that the policy was bogus. It is usually necessary for the accuser, therefore, to demonstrate that the accused had prior knowledge of the deceit and voluntarily misrepresented or omitted the facts.

Another important element to prove in such a case is justifiable or actual reliance on the expertise of the accused. A person most likely would walk away from a stranger who approached him or her and asked for money to invest in a vending machine business. That same person is more likely to trust the stranger’s expertise and perceived success if the stranger is a well-dressed man leading an investment seminar in which he mentions his success in the vending machine industry and asks for investors. After a few months have elapsed without further contact or delivery of vending machines, one might reasonably assume the investment is fraudulent. In court, the investor would have to testify that his investment decision was partially based on a reliance on the stranger’s implied expertise and experience.

The Obligation to Investigate

The element of fraud that tends to hamper a successful prosecution is the obligation to investigate. It falls on potential investors and other customers to reasonably investigate a proposal before any money exchanges hands, and a failure to take appropriate measures at the time of the proposal can seriously weaken a resulting court case. The accused can claim that his accuser had every opportunity to discover the potential for fraud and failed to thoroughly investigate the matter. Remorse over terms of the deal in a legally binding contract is not the same as fraud.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to SmartCapitalMind, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon941213 — On Mar 21, 2014

How long is the statute of limitations in Maryland?

By anon925590 — On Jan 12, 2014

My husband and I separated, but he asked me to put him on my new insurance policy. Since the car he was driving was in my name, his name also had to be on the policy. Is this illegal even if the company told me he had to be listed since we were still married?

By anon354826 — On Nov 11, 2013

I own a cleaning business in Utah. Because we are the largest in the state, I find that other businesses and individuals who have no relationship to my company will often advertise and conduct business using my logo and location, (but their phone number). They have even used my personal name. I have even been fined for violations by states in which I have never done business.

I was audited by the Labor Commission when it was really another company they were after. I know this is fraud, but wonder if it is worth the cost of an attorney, or if the police would want to be bothered with it.

By anon345291 — On Aug 17, 2013

Is pretending to work someone (for whatever reason) an act of fraud?

By anon337868 — On Jun 08, 2013

My wife and I are separated, but somehow she managed to purchase a home without my signature being involved so she either lied about her marriage status or used an assumed name. I wonder if she could be prosecuted for this?

By anon335288 — On May 19, 2013

My brother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic and liver cancer. My sister was separated then moved back in with him. She used his credit card to purchase things and to pay for his funeral before he died. She said after he dies she will not be responsible to pay off these debts. I know this is fraudulent, but is it illegal? She is currently mailing out death notices to his creditors.

By PabloP — On Feb 08, 2013

If someone reports welfare fraud, is there protection from retaliation should the recipient find out who it was that reported them?

By anon279757 — On Jul 14, 2012

I have a question on fraud. I was accused of fraud because I was the bookkeeper for my husband and his dental partner. The partner walked out six years ago. A year ago he filed a lawsuit to be paid for his shares in the corporation, but because he claimed in his bankruptcy he does not own a corporation he is suing me for fraud.

He claims I wrote different things in the books and bought things for my personal use and claimed them in the business. I did not do this. He asked me to get the proof from over 12 years ago, but I only save taxes for seven years. He is claiming I purposely threw my taxes out for the past seven years to hide the fraud. He is suing me in court with a trial for fraud. Is there anyone who can give me advice.

By anon277052 — On Jun 27, 2012

Is this fraud? A used car dealer provides a clean carfax on a used automobile and as a result, the customer uses such report as enhanced justification to purchase the vehicle.

Subsequently, the vehicle is found to have damage and a subsequent carfax ran by the purchaser shows information was omitted from the carfax by the dealer. When questioned, the dealer just says that is the information carfax gave him; however, it is not the accurate carfax. Is this fraud?

By anon274845 — On Jun 13, 2012

Also, I think that my husband and his relatives using my name to falsify documents and to possibly launder money and/or sell drugs. I have only just found out. What should I do?

By anon274843 — On Jun 13, 2012

My soon to be ex alleges that he wired monies to me via western union which never arrived. This is not the first time.

An agent alleges that the money was returned to Western Union office from which it had been remitted for security reasons. However, the supervisor knew nothing about it and said that there was no record of monies being sent. What is the deal?

By anon253970 — On Mar 11, 2012

If somebody has used a different name to start a internet/phone account with Telstra, then let the bills stack up and for her to not pay it, then uses another different name again when the power gets cut off to start another account. They also do this to the energy companies. How do you report them?

By anon252730 — On Mar 06, 2012

I work for a Property Management company. We are slated to get commissions at a certain amount depending on our economic occupancy. Despite reaching the economic occupancy needed to receive our commissions at the optimal rate, we consistently receive less than what our work book states.

A few weeks later, we are given the same work book (to sign) altered to contain verbiage that states our commissions are based on our Regional's say so. Is this proper?

By anon251947 — On Mar 03, 2012

I transferred money into my brother's girlfriend's account to set up a trust fund for my nephew. They have since split and she won't let anyone in my family see the baby.

I have asked her for the account details to the trust account so I can deposit money monthly. I have just found out she spent the money and there is no trust fund. Is this fraud?

By sayingmymind — On Mar 02, 2012

Is this fraud or misappropriation of funds? My mum's money is with the public trustee and we have not and do not receive any of the accounts that they pay for her for six years. A three-month invoice from Blue Care Nurses turned up in my email in error, I think, and I checked it. Well, they have been charging for services mum never received at all. Also, when they were taking mum out for a two-hour outing and buying her lunch, the dockets were included on the invoice for reimbursement, which is correct, no worries, but as an example, how can an old lady of 90 years eat three pies, two pasties, three chocolate milks, two strawberry milks, one V energy drink, two yogurts, one large cream sponge cake, plastic knives, plastic forks and plastic spoons? I think something is wrong here. All the dockets are very similar to this one.

Who should be responsible -- Blue Care Nurses or Public Trust and what should I do?

By Jmoney23 — On Jan 23, 2012

Please anyone, if you have any answers or know anything that might help, please inform me ASAP.

This is to do with my brother and my cousin. They work together and their spouses hate each other, so my brother's wife decides to tell her family what's going on, then they come up with a plan to try and fire my cousin. So they make accusations and my cousin gets suspended from work for a week.

My brother was also questioned and he knows nothing now, but going by what his wife had told him and basically told his boss, OK, this is what my wife said, but he still didn't know anything. He is basically getting lied to by his wife.

His spouse's aunt actually buys the product and his spouse and her aunt returned the product they brought from a store to make it look like my cousin stole it and was selling it in public. Human resources noticed the story didn't match up, so they asked them to tell who made the accusation so my brother's spouse's friend goes in with her aunt to make it look like they were the people who my cousin sold the product to, but human resources got to the bottom of it. Basically, they found out the truth and found out that my brother's spouse was a part of this incident.

Later that day, my brother gets a call from human resources stating he's suspended due to further investigation for fraud, money laundering and for putting his boss in a hard situation. He's so upset he can't think and he has nothing to do with it; they have no evidence pointing fingers at him. But his wife is on tape at his job helping return the items.

Please, if you know or can give me advice to help my brother not lose his job, I'm willing to take any advice. Do you think he will get fired? Or terminated? Or might just be suspended for like seven days? Please anyone let me know. Thank you -- much appreciated.

By anon239661 — On Jan 10, 2012

This is the story. I purchased a car from a used car dealer. I put my $2,100 down and paid $420 a month. I've been paying on time for about three months. My insurance is about $400 a month because I'm young.

O.K., to the point. I found this guy who is an attorney at this legal firm. I told him my situation. I only make $1,300 a month and I'm struggling making payments and car insurance, and my auto dealership won't work with me at all. He said that he could settle the debt. He wrote a check for $14k, paying off the entire car. About three or four weeks later, I get a call from the repo people saying that they are coming to get my car and if I don't give it up I'm going to jail that night for check fraud. First off, I got a bill in the mail saying the car is paid in full and the account is satisfied. I have not yet received another bill in the mail saying that the check was returned and that I have a NSF fee. Isn't there something in the law about Bill of Exchange?

They have had repo men call all my family and even my job and my roommate. I only got one notice in the mail stating demand of car. It said that they will file a warrant for my arrest if I don't return the car to them in a couple of days. My power of attorney went to court today to file a cease and desist order against them. The car and registration are in my name but they have a lien on my title and security interest. He said they shouldn't be bothering me again. The lady keep calling back from the repo collections place, saying that they are going to have me locked up if I don't give them the car today.

I don't have the car. I let my attorney hold it until he gets all this straightened out. He sent out a cease and desist order certified and sealed by the court, and he is filing a lawsuit as we speak. He said they can't come after me or bother me until they get a court order. Why are they coming after me? Will I go to jail for real or are they using scare tactics? They came to get my car but don't have a court order. They're just showing me some papers with a bounced check that my attorney wrote.

I'm very scared. The dealer is accusing me of check fraud when I never wrote a check and is trying to file a warrant for my arrest. They keep saying that the check is going to fall back on me when I didn't even write it. All I know is that I have a zero balance statement. I'm 25 and I've never been in trouble before. I'm in Georgia. I have a clean record. Will I go to jail for a check I didn't write?

By anon233538 — On Dec 07, 2011

This is probably nothing compared to everybody else here, but at my school there are various vending machines. The problem is we will put in our money to get a pop or something out of the machine and when we don't get it, we are told tough luck because the vending machine has a use at your own risk sign on it.

I was just wondering if they don't give us refunds or the product, if it was against the law or something because it's not like they aren't making money. They have enough to get the stupid things fixed but they haven't. Can someone help a stupid freshmen?

By anon228701 — On Nov 10, 2011

I worked for a company for about a year. In this time I was in charge of funding. During this time I used the card for personal use but I also put the money back each time I used it just never recorded it in the finance book. I am no longer working at this company and the situation is under investigation because it has come up that it is 166 dollars short. They have not pinpointed who committed this crime, but "claim" they will get the video from the atm (whoever it was taking out monies). I have no previous record and never have done anything ever like this before. What can possibly happen to me?

By skyler1996 — On Oct 16, 2011

I am 15 years old and I have been accused of fraud cause my friend had these football ticket things. And he asked me, my brother, and my friend we all are accused of fraud.

We sold three of those tickets and a police officer came over and talked to us and I watched him take my friend to jail cause he's 18. This all happened yesterday and were going to court I need some advice of what there going to do with me if I'm proved guilty?

By anon166913 — On Apr 10, 2011

what is Political Fraud?

By anony1234 — On Jan 14, 2011

i have committed credit card fraud for 85 dollars. i paid the 70 back because it was an online purchase and my laptop is under my sister's name and i don't want her in trouble for my stupid mistake so i called the place and switched credit cards.

i canceled the other one and charged mine but the other place i used the card was a restaurant and I don't know what to do because I'm afraid. can someone help me?

By anon123915 — On Nov 03, 2010

I think I might have committed fraud with the local school district. A friend and her daughter were staying with me because of an abusive relationship. They left Tuesday but on Wednesday they came by and I signed a notarized paper saying they were still staying with me so that she could enroll her daughter into our school. They are not staying with me and now I'm freaking out about lying to the school and I'm in a Government assisted apartment complex and if they believe that she is living with us, we can lose our apartment. What do I do!

By anon83627 — On May 11, 2010

i had seen on tv an infomercial about how to become wealthy with building an online marketing business with Anthony Morrison.

I paid a little, maybe fifty dollars or so, then when I received the booklets in the mail and a cd, shortly after that I was called on the phone with a high pressure, take it now or leave it offer to get involved with this online business training which they say they helps you and you will succeed.

I was in an extremely vulnerable state at the time with my life and job situation and wanted so bad to believe that this may be the way to go and thinking I would have top training and the way they made it sound it was too good to pass up. I then took the bait and almost fifteen thousand dollars was charged to my credit card. They will not refund it.

Not only that, but they are somehow affiliated with The Tax Club, which is another scam that said they would take care of all of my taxes for the business and everything and they too wanted a large sum of money.

I was an idiot. I let them charge about five thousand to my card and if that's not enough, they called back with another branch of their company called all access books saying they will do your personal taxes. I told them I thought they (The Tax Club) would do it all and they said no. I said they were misleading and they said I'm sorry we didn't explain it to you properly and then like an even bigger jerk I let them take another seven thousand.

I tried to get my money back and they will not give me any of it. Please help me. I need some help.

By anon74078 — On Mar 30, 2010

I would like to talk about my case. I was working for a company Sodexo in Laos for two years under a contract where by I was to get paid for my two years salary and bonus after I finish the two years.

I did get paid for last year in December and I transferred the funds to my country as I was returning to my home land. After a few days the company started to claim that I misrepresented the company and obtained the funds by committing fraud.

Now they have started a court case against me to claim the funds and they are also putting out e-mails that I did not sent to them saying that I have committed theft and fraud in the company.

This company transferred the funds to my personal bank account in Laos and from there I transferred the funds to my personal bank account in my home country.

I would like to know what will be the best course of action and if I can win this case.

By anon71631 — On Mar 19, 2010

I am married in a community property state. i handed my husband divorce papers in Feb 2007. In March he moved the bond from Standard bank to FNB bank as he is an employer at FNB.

he said in the papers he is not married and is divorce. the second bond did go through without my consent or knowledge and our divorce is still in process due to this happening.

Is this fraud and can i ask the court to forfeit his share of his pension fund to me and also can i claim back five years of maintenance he never paid for our daughter at that age 9? His son lives with him. Can i claim rent from the son for living in my property without my consent and only of his father? The property is valued at R600.000 and he bonded the second time at R960.000 which means no profit will come from this and he did do this in order for no claim against the property to spiteful towards me.

please advise me: what are my chances of getting what belongs to me? he also sold both our cars and bought another two cars recently from the bank.

By anon65890 — On Feb 16, 2010

Ever notice how so much fraud is supported by Western Union wire transfers? it is about time everyone boycotts Western Union. They only want the service fees and enable criminals to survive.

The super pages online is another group. They allow fake businesses to advertise and list on their site.

By anon57330 — On Dec 22, 2009

This article is hilarious and especially the thread that people have commented upon is awesome.

S. Dhande

By anon56923 — On Dec 18, 2009

Beware when you transfer your car to taxi broker. the broker will cheat you of your downtime in case of a no fault accident in some cases, try to take your car. On the bill of sale always stipulate the special conditions of the sale.

By anon50014 — On Oct 25, 2009

government spending/welfare spending is not fair. it is causing american people to steal and kill. the only way to prevent the two is to stop the fraud with government spending and welfare spending. welfare should not have to be paid for by a person who doesn't know or did not sign anything to pay it back.

By seabeach — On Oct 11, 2009

I recently filed a claim against a company, and/or the owner. Neither he nor a representative appeared, and I was awarded. Two months later I never received any money due me. I did further research, and came to find out that the license on his business card does not exist, and his company doesn't either. Yet, his wife owns a business with a similar name and both the business and their home address are one and the same. I recently drove past their address, and noticed the man's business truck parked in their driveway. I had the business name painted on it using just the letters. The truck also showed the same phone number as on the business card (the company advertising a non-existent business license). If I'm right, this is fraud! Question: Being that his wife is the legal owner of a company with a similar name and I already sued the husband, and the company didn't exist, I would like to know if I can sue his wife. As I pointed out earlier, the truck only shows the first letters on it. That appears to be short description of all the company(ies) they operate. Thank you, Ted Montesano

By anon46265 — On Sep 23, 2009

Me and my husband have been together for 14 years. The last four years we have been married, we have been in such a difficult state. I was working the third shift and he the first. In Sept a nail went into his eye. Lost the eyesight but is still functional. Well way before this I found out he has been abusing my daughter. He gave her a black eye, punched her in the ribs, locked her in the closet. All this was happening while I was a work. (I did not know this and this does not come up until later). After his injury his lawyer was giving him a $10,000 check to pay off bills like food for the kids to eat, electricity, gas, phone, car expenses, clothing for the kids etc. He told me I had permission to cash it. After all this we had to go to a school meeting. The school said they had red flags showing about my daughter. They had some concerns with her grades dropping and other issues. They then asked my husband to leave. She had told the nurse her father had pushed her into the wall while his arm was wrapped around her neck. They brought her down the the office to talk to the police. He actually locked her down in the cellar for and hour. The police confronted him and he admitted to it. It has been a long, ongoing case. Knowing this, he took me took me to court for fraud and larceny because I signed his name on the check and did not have him sign it. It was used for the purpose. There are restraining orders against him for me and my daughter. He violated it twice and is still walking the streets. Do you think I will go to jail for fraud? I have to meet in front of the judge soon. I never have been in trouble before. I am just protecting my kids.

By anon45005 — On Sep 12, 2009

i cashed a cashier's check for $4980 and i took it to my bank. i didn't know it was fake until the bank called me and said they were going to prosecute me for the money. i sent the money through the mail --cash -- what a stupid thing i did, but just like a lot of people didn't know. it was through mystery shoppers. i even told the bank i was willing to pay the money back, not knowing the check was a scam. i never did anything like this before in my life and just pray that i can straighten it up the right way and i pray these people are caught. i called the state police and i have to go in on monday and talk to a crime investigator. i know i didn't do anything wrong and i'm innocent just like a lot of you. check into it before you cash anything. it looked so real, so be careful. don't be fooled like me. i'm going to call the fbi on monday and report these people. it came from canada and they told me to send it to london, england and i sent cash like a fool. i know that i learned from this and that i just want to warn all of you about this.

By anon41701 — On Aug 17, 2009

I cashed a check for a friend, and she did not tell me that she did not have any money in the account. She cashed it for $700 and she got all the money. I only cashed it for her because she does not have a bank account. I just found out this morning that she put me in debt $700, plus the overdraft fees. She only got a $25 fee charged to her account, and I am now almost $1000 in debt. Should I take her to court for fraud, since she knowingly wrote a check to me that would bounce and now has no intent on paying the fees?

By lorial1 — On Dec 10, 2008

I recently ordered a product on line that is out of canada. I naively sent a moneygram, but have not received the product. They sent me an invalid tracking number. One phone number says not in service, the other continues to say all operators are busy then hangs up. I can not contact these people. Is this fraud? If so how do I go about taking legal action? It has been over a week, and they were to send it world wide express. I should have received it days ago.

By anon22310 — On Dec 01, 2008

I lived with a guy for eight years I was completely taken in by him

He was charming I believed everything he said Behind my back he was constantly having sex with other people ....anyone he met. There was no relationship on his part with me. I meant only money to him. In the end he did a runner with my money around 1 million euro. I am homeless at age 62, BUT no-one believes me He convinces everyone I am the bad guy. Its crazy.

By anon22253 — On Nov 30, 2008

We the American people have been subjected to large amounts of fraud by the Bush-Cheney administration, the Government cover-up of 9-11, the Wall Street robber-barrons and elite bankers, Pentagon psy-ops regarding the Iraq war, etc etc. What is the recourse of "We the people" against this wrong doing in instances of out right criminals? I'm just saying... How's our foreign debt doing? How's your 401k doing? How's Bush's plan to combine our three countries together - USA, Canada & Mexico - as in the North American Union (NAU) - similar to the E.U. - coming along? Get ready for the introduction of our new currency - the "AMERO" - once they (above) tank the U.S. Dollar! Traitors all!! You get the picture.

By MgnMls — On Nov 17, 2008

I want to start by telling about my situation. This company associated with my bank calls me back in late August of 2008 offering me some kind of sweet deal on life insurance. I told them I would like to discuss it over first with my husband before making a decision. Then they offer to send out an information packet about the policy. (Which I never even got) However, months went by and come November 15, 2008 my account is in the negative with money with drawn from it. I did not even recognize the charge. I knew this was an error. So I called my bank and told her I did not recognize the charge that was in place. I asked for the name of the company, so I could at least see if maybe I had bought something from online or out of a catalog that I had forgot about. She could not give the name of the company; all she could give was a number for the company. She told me to call and dispute it with them. If that did not work to call back and my bank would dispute it for me. So I tried, with it being Saturday they were closed. While waiting, I decided to google the number given to me, just to see if it would link me some way or another to finding out which this company was. I came upon this website talking about the company and how there were and still are people going through my situation. So first thing Monday morning I call the company, and demand my money back. I told them I do not know how they were able to get my account information, that I never ever under any circumstances gave permission to withdraw money from my account. At the end of the call, I did indeed hear that my money was being credited back into my account. Up to ten days, that is. So I hang up and call my bank to take care of the overdraft fee that I am being charged along with why and how that company got access to my account. I was pretty much b/s around until I asked the associate if I just needed to contact an attorney. I then was told once the money was credited back into my account that I should call my bank back and then they will credit my overdraft charge back to me as well. I told him everyone sure is quick to take that money, however when giving it back they want to take their time with it. I feel violated, my trust is broken with this bank, and I feel there is more I can do to stop this from happening again.

My questions being.

Is this considered fraud?

If not, then what is this considered?

What legal action can I take against the bank?

Is there even anything I can do?

By anon21239 — On Nov 12, 2008

If a husband cashes in a life insurance policy and it is owned by his wife in her name, is this fraud too?? Can I take him to court as I was not aware of this and he cashed check without my approval .

By thbevan — On Oct 03, 2008

What is the statute of limitations for fraud in Florida?

By gtberbice1 — On Sep 02, 2008

2 employees from an agency forged and notarized my name on my company's letter head and sent it overseas. I was contacted to verify the contents and realized that it was forgery. They were indicted by grand jury and pled guilty to forgery. Could I sue them for using my name without my permission? They misrepresented me and associated my name in a criminal act. What damages could I suffer from this?

By ishwarchopra — On Jul 31, 2008

I want to take the Certified Fraud Examiners from India. How do I go about that?

By seasom — On Jun 16, 2008

a woman who was living with my dad signed some hospital forms with her name and his last name and wrote that she was his wife. However, they were not married Georgia and does not recognize common law. Also, she sign a warrantee deed for an right of survivorship with her real name and then put "a.k.a. her first name and his last name." Is this fraud? she was draining him of all his money and assets. He died 3 wks. ago. I had power of attorney. His will stated all his possessions go to me. Does she have any right to anything?

By sparkles — On May 18, 2008

How do I find out if the house I'm renting is going through foreclosure? My lease is almost up, and although he promises to renew he hasn't offered any paperwork.

By anon12165 — On May 01, 2008

For several years if my payment was late, my local creditor would accept and waive the service fee I crossed off my invoice when I paid the bill. There was no verbal exchange for this I simply crossed off the service fee, deducted the amount and sent the balance. Now, that same creditor has decided to charge the monthly service fees and is adding a % of interest to it. Can it be assumed that if the creditor has always waived the fee it would always be waived? There is no contract or agreement between the parties.

By egreenb1 — On Apr 15, 2008

Thank you for posting this. Since 2000, I have used

Monster.com and have gotten several jobs with my resume, but then came 2005.

Monster is a US based company that sells information to anyone in the world who pays their fee and they take no responsibility after that. Fraud may be hard to prove, but it does not stop ruthless legal professionals and others from hounding you with one filing after another in the hopes that you won't show up to court so they can win.

By anon6340 — On Dec 26, 2007

I told a woman that I am in good health to get a job, but in fact I wear a colostomy bag and I have a fake leg. Is this fraud? And, if so, can I go to prison for lying about the colostomy bag?

By olittlewood — On Dec 17, 2007


that sounds like a tough dilemma you're in! just because someone is in a position of trust, like a lawyer doesn't guarantee the they're trustworthy. if you feel uneasy about what the lawyer is asking you to do, you should get a second opinion! trust your gut! if you end up doing something wrong, it's probably not likely that you could get the lawyer to take the fall. after all, a law is a law and if you break one, you still have to face the consequences. good luck!

By anon6139 — On Dec 17, 2007

I have a lawyer telling me that something is legal, but i feel it cannot be. The basics of the story involve me lying about coming into the possession of some documents and claiming some money. The lawyer says nothing can happen to me, but i feel that this just can't be true. I am worried I am going to get done for fraud, but I am under 18 and think that since the lawyer is telling me it is fine (I have emails to prove this) then I could blame it all on him? Please help! I don't know what to do!!!!

By natasha1 — On Oct 09, 2007

What if at your job you borrow $10000.00 in cash but you are paying it back so as of right now you owe $7000.00. The person knows it was a stupid thing to do. My question is if they get caught before paying the whole thing back what charges will they face and how long of a jail time if any?

By anon4068 — On Oct 01, 2007

How much research did you do to confirm this person's claim that the debt was yours?

If you didn't do any research, and simply believed their threats, you may not have a fraud claim. It's unfortunate, but one person lying to you is not always fraud.

Of course, if you did pay them when the debt wasn't actually yours, you can take them to court to get the money back...

Good luck.

By anon3998 — On Sep 27, 2007

if someone knows you are not liable for payment of a bill and you are not aware of it, and this person scares you into paying it by threatening legal action, is this considered fraud?

By anon1107 — On May 15, 2007

I thank God for his mercies for providing a site like wise geek. I must commend you for your detailed analysis. You know, I have not come across site that explains this act in such a detailed way like this.

But, the kinds mention here are high leveled frauds. And it is not common; you know why it is very expensive and returns are usually very high.

On the issue of account, it is difficult to ask for ones credentials so the scammer has to be tactical in doing that. So there usually options in which that is one of them, but the most common is virgin account.

On the lottery, the notifications and all the other documents can be sent from any where in the world. But the string is not pulled from here, and you know it is global. Well I have not seen any that says Nigeria and there of them I have the format it is often UK, America and Australia.

Now there is another that should be of note. And that is publishing in details how these people work. Take the issue of over cost for instance, there are formats that are procedure it follows and they in this way say the scammer mails you on an item indicating interest well it will be a sin if you do not want to reply to your ad on the net. Then a second mail follows discussing thing extensively. Then after which a third one comes concluding the transaction. Again it should be of note that how a transaction started determines how it ends. By this I mean the discussions they had earlier in the process.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to SmartCapitalMind, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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