Crimes that involve varying degrees of deception in order to receive a benefit are fraudulent crimes by classification.
Crimes of fraud can range from simple to complex scams, with varying degrees of legal consequences depending on the severity and impact of the scheme.
Common forms of fraud
Fraud schemes take many forms, targeting a number of different people, sources and circumstances to obtain money, power, property or some other personal gain. These include:
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Mail fraud
- Securities and investment fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Phishing and spoofing
- Money and check counterfeiting
Fraudulent crimes can occur with or without the injured party’s knowledge and can take place over the internet, in person, by mail or through a third party.
Fraud crimes typically use lies or false statements to gather money or personal information, but they also frequently involve deception in order to gain property, relationships, loans, products or access to certain benefits such as insurance or member-only groups or situations.
Criminal fraud penalties
Theft and fraud charges can be serious enough to warrant severe penalties. In order to determine whether a crime should receive classification as fraud, an investigation will assess whether the accused has made knowingly deceitful attempts to achieve benefits. If convicted, a defendant may have to pay restitution and could be subject to other penalties, such as jail time, additional fines or probation.
The courts, both state and federal systems, assess the damages involved in the crime and whether the defendant had any known rights or legal access to the benefits.