Fraud is a broad term used in reference to acts that are intended to trick another person for monetary or personal gains through the use of deception or deceit. The most common examples of fraud are antitrust violations, bribery, credit card fraud, counterfeiting, extortion, forgery and misappropriation of trust funds.
Fraud as a criminal and civil offense
There are thousands of victims of fraud every year with most of them law-abiding citizens without any criminal records. The goal of fraud is to gain something of value like money through the use of false statements, deceitful conduct, and misleading information.
Fraud is both a criminal offense and a civil offense. The obvious difference is who filed the legal case. Government prosecutors can file criminal charges at the same time that a victim can file a civil lawsuit. This means that a perpetuator of fraud can be prosecuted criminally and sued in the civil court. In order for the perpetuator to be charged criminally and sentenced to jail, fraud must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
In private civil lawsuits, proof for fraud is lower and the punishment is usually restitution, the return of the victim’s money and monetary damages. When civil lawsuits are filed against unscrupulous businesses, the Federal Trade Commission or the Securities Exchange Commission will seek injunction, restitutions to the victims and monetary penalties.
How to avoid fraud
In order to avoid identity theft, do not share with anyone your social security number or previous addresses. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks attached to an email message unless you are sure of the sender’s identity. If you lose your credit or debit card, report it immediately to the bank so that they cannot be misused. Potential signs of scams are promises that are too good to be true from a company or a person.
If you are victim of fraud, call MyDefence immediately because they are skilled and experienced in handling such situations. They are also knowledgeable with the fraud laws in your state. Do not be embarrassed to report the crime because many con artists are highly skilled in tricking you of your money. Failure to report the crime will encourage the perpetuator to prey on others.