What You Should Know About Fraud Crimes, Part 1

The nature of fraud, undoubtedly, makes it a crime in many jurisdictions, including the United States legal system. Due to the inherently dishonest nature of this crime, various legal systems across the country prosecute people for engaging in different types of fraud.

The most common types of fraud occur in financial transactions. Buying and/or selling property or exchanging funds for intangible (nonphysical) assets or commodities are common financial transactions where fraud may occur.

It is natural to assume that various types of fraud crimes exist. Therefore, in Part 1 of our look at fraud crimes, we are going to review some examples of fraud crimes.

Fraud Crimes: What You Should Know ~ Scenarios

Fraud crimes deceive. They deceive unsuspecting victims into giving up money or property (tangible and intangible) to the deceptive party.

Although fraud crimes are commonly associated with deceiving victims in that manner, a fraud crime also occurs when an offender fails to disclose important information or if they make assertions without confirming whether they are accurate or not.

Here are some common examples of fraud crimes:

Scenario 1:

A party runs an advertisement targeted at homeowners who may have back mortgage payments. These consumers may be unable to pay back their mortgages on time. The fraudulent party, via the advertisement, promises these homeowners that they ‘can prevent foreclosures.’ This party, to those that answer the advertisement, tells their customers to sign documents that temporarily transfer their title to said party. They would, once the transfer is complete, negotiate for ‘lower mortgage payments’ on their behalf.

The issue with this example is that the fraudulent party is dishonest about the nature of the title transfer. In this case, the title transfer would be permanent, and not temporary, which would put the customers at danger of losing their home and financial stability.

Scenario 2:

A party sells a used car to their customer enough—the transaction is innocent enough. However, there is a catch.

This party knows, but does not inform their customer, that the car lacks the proper equipment as required by their state to allow its use as a ‘drivable’ vehicle. Therefore, the car cannot be driven in their state—but, the customer does not know that.

The issue with that situation is that, as mentioned, the customer does not know they cannot drive their car in their state. Once they drive the car, they may be subject to prosecution by police if they are pulled over for driving an illegal car.

In both scenarios, the fraudulent party put their customers at stake of committing a crime that they did not know they could commit. Since they were dishonest in conveying specific information to them, those parties committed a fraud crime and would need to be prosecuted for doing so.