In order to understand this blog, on which I write many articles about scams and fraud, you will need to have at least a basic understanding of what fraud is.
The following post is hardly comprehensive but should give you a general idea about some of the more common types of fraud that are committed.
WHAT IS FRAUD?
In essence, fraud is a crime that is perhaps committed far more often than you may realise.
Some types of fraud probably go largely unreported too, due to the fact that the victims will often feel foolish for being duped or conned in such a way, not to mention the fact that the fraudster and the victim may well ‘know’ each other too (see ‘affinity fraud‘)
Basically, fraud is the taking of money or other items or services from someone without paying or otherwise making recompense.
The act of fraud is nothing new and has been around for thousands of years though in modern times the advent of the internet has lead to new scams and schemes.
Auction sites, such as eBay, are a popular target for fraudsters who will win items and then attempt to get them delivered to them without paying.
Alternatively, they will actually pay for the goods but then attempt to reverse the payment afterwards, leading to the same end result..
Identity fraud, also known as identity theft, is a growing crime in which the criminal actually takes over the financial life of the victim.
Typically this will entail opening new bank accounts and fraudulently using credit and debit cards to make purchases for which the victim will be potentially liable.
Identity fraud can have extremely long-lasting and negative effects – read these 14 tips on avoiding identity theft.
Another large area of fraud is in the medical sector.
Cynics, such as myself, can point to the rise of pharmaceutical companies are their push of modern medicine as a sign that drugs are being prescribed, and paid for, unneccesarily.
Equally, however, some doctors may commit medical fraud by prescribing unnecessary treatments and by fiddling billing codes.
Such practice has not gone unnoticed though and insurance companies have recently been involved in cracking down on such practices.
The final type of common fraud I’m writing about today is marriage fraud.
(I’ve previously written about paternity fraud and the whole issue of divorce and child support will be dealt with in the future.)
Marriage fraud is, at its basic level, an agreement and partnership that does not involve love. (much like a regular marriage some may say!)
Typically, marriage fraud is connected with immigration, allowing certain people to gain permanent access to, or residence in, a country that they would otherwise not be able to settle in.
In the United States the punishments for marriage fraud can be as high as $250,000 and/or 5 years in prison though it is often a hard crime to prove and prosecute.
Hopefully this article has given you a little more knowledge of fraud but please feel free to ask any questions you may still have via the comments section.