Fraud Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Fraud, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Fraud?

(n) Fraud is the doing of any wrong activity with an intention to gain undue or illegitimate advantages at the detriment of the sufferer. Eg. Altering the accounts.

History and Meaning of Fraud

The term "fraud" has been around for centuries and has been used in various legal systems around the world. Fraud can be defined as a deliberate deception or misrepresentation that is made for personal gain or to cause harm to another person. In legal terms, fraud can take many different forms, but it generally involves some form of illegal or unethical behavior.

Fraudulent activities can occur in various forms such as financial, healthcare, credit card, insurance, and securities fraud. It is often difficult to detect and investigate, and it can have severe consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators.

Examples of Fraud

  1. Financial fraud - a company owner fakes the accounts books to show higher profits than they have made, incurring losses on the company's shareholders.

  2. Insurance fraud - filing a false or exaggerated insurance claim to obtain a payout.

  3. Healthcare fraud - A medical professional overcharges or performs unnecessary treatments on a patient.

  4. Credit card fraud - using someone else's credit card without their consent.

  5. Identity theft - involves stealing someone's personal information, such as social security numbers, to commit fraud.

Legal Terms Similar to Fraud

  1. Misrepresentation - any false, exaggerated, or misleading statement made by one party to another, which induces that party to enter into a contract or transaction.

  2. Embezzlement - illegally taking money or property that has been assigned to you for safekeeping, it may include using the means of the company to make personal purchases, and to keep the receipts to claim the same cash or from the system.

  3. False Pretenses - Knowingly or intentionally making a false statement that persuades someone to willingly part with their property.

  4. Forgery - intentionally creating or altering a document with the intention to commit fraud.

  5. Conspiracy - where two or more people agree to carry out illegal activity together.