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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fraud (or defrauding or scamming) is a crime in which someone tricks somebody else to get unfair or unlawful gain. Frauds are almost always about money, either directly or indirectly.

A fraudster or a fraud is the person who commits the fraud. Fraudulence is the adjective, as in He tried to pass a fraudulent cheque. To defraud someone is to commit a fraud against them.

Fraudsters may find people to defraud by phone calls, emails, or websites. Fraud often starts by saying there is a free or low price item. The fraudster then asks for personal information, such as a home address and bank account numbers. Instead of giving an item, the fraudster takes their money. Fraudsters often target senior citizens.

Fraud is a criminal wrong: a fraudster may be prosecuted and imprisoned. It is also a civil wrong: a fraud victim may sue the fraudster to get compensation.

All societies have laws against fraud, but the details differ in each jurisdiction. In England an Act of Parliament defines three kinds of fraud.

  1. fraud by false representation,
  2. fraud by failing to disclose information, and
  3. fraud by abuse of position.

Lesser cases are heard in a Magistrates' Court; more serious offences are tried in the High Court (jury proceedings).

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