Fraud is a form of white-collar crime that involves intentional deception. Individuals and business entities may engage in fraud for financial gain at the expense of others.
Fraud manifests in countless different forms, some of which are far more common than others. Complaints from those who have lost resources due to fraud and either state or federal investigations often lead to the prosecution of those who misrepresent certain information for financial benefit. The following are the most common types of fraud in the United States.
A variety of different types of misconduct could constitute investment fraud. There is the pump-and-dump scheme, which manipulates people into purchasing worthless stock so that others can sell their shares for a profit. There are Ponzi schemes, where someone managing investments falsifies returns. Any material representation of the facts to trick people into an investment could constitute fraud. Different types of investment fraud will continue to evolve as markets change.
Some people commit acts of mortgage fraud because they want housing. They may lie about their income, employment or personal assets. Others may engage in mortgage fraud for profit, possibly by financing the purchase of a property that doesn’t exist or isn’t for sale. Mortgage fraud can cost both lenders and homeowners thousands of dollars.
There are many different types of insurance fraud. Sometimes, consumers make fraudulent or exaggerated claims against a policy they purchased. Other times, insurance fraud involves professionals engaging in inappropriate billing practices.
Allegations of any kind of fraud could lead to prosecution, jail sentences and financial consequences. Understanding the types of fraud that are most common may help people identify when they could be at risk of fraud allegations and when they should be seeking legal guidance accordingly.