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What is fraud?

Many people think of theft as walking up to someone and taking something that’s theirs — whether that means shoplifting an item or stealing a purse. While it’s true that thefts sometimes happen that way, they can also occur due to fraud. 

If you’ve been charged with any kind of theft by fraud, understanding more about the nature of your charges can help you more fully participate in your own defense.  

What are the different types of fraud?

There are different types of fraud that can occur, most of which are related to financial transactions. These include:

  • Mortgage fraud: Making intentional misstatements on applications or documents for mortgage loans
  • Credit card fraud: Using someone’s credit card without their permission or making false statements to obtain a credit card
  • Wire fraud: Using information technology or telecommunications to nab victims of financial crimes
  • Tax fraud: Making false statements on income tax or other tax-related forms
  • Securities fraud: Misrepresenting information about a publicly-traded company to investors or potential investors
  • Bankruptcy fraud: Failing to provide fully accurate information on a bankruptcy petition or hiding assets so they won’t be seized in a bankruptcy case

Not all cases of fraud will result in a criminal trial. When there are charges filed, they’ll be handled in either state or federal court, depending on the circumstances of the case.

What if you’re facing charges of fraud?

Anyone who’s facing charges of fraud should ensure they know their defense options — and it’s always wisest to start early. Speaking with an experienced legal advocate can help you both protect your rights and begin focusing on your potential defenses.