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The definition of fraud is - 'abuse of position, or false representation, or prejudicing someone's rights for personal gain'.

What is fraud?

Fraud is often financially motivated:

  • When trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage over another individual, business or organisation.
  • When a person or organisation uses deception to cause harm, often financial, to another.
  • Fraud costs each UK adult an average of £765 a year.

Types of fraud

We've compiled a list of fraud types to help you identify when you might be at risk:

Know anyone committing fraud? You can give information anonymously

Fraud and the law

There are many different types of fraud that are punishable by law and can be committed by individuals, organisations or businesses. Some of the acts of fraud the Fraud Act 2006 covers are:

  • Fraud by false representation
  • Fraud by failing to disclose information
  • Fraud by abuse of position
  • Possession of articles for use in fraud
  • Making or supplying articles for use in frauds
  • Participation by sole trader in fraudulent business
  • Obtaining services dishonestly
  • Penalty obtaining services dishonestly

Fraudulent activity can take place through any type of media, such as:

  • Post mail and email
  • Phone
  • Wire
  • Internet

The effects of fraud

Individuals who fall victim to fraud can experience physical, psychological, financial and social damage

The impact of fraud can also be damaging for corporate victims. Small and medium-sized companies are sometimes unable to recover from the financial or reputational damage caused. Large multi-national organisations can feel the effects through the increased cost of doing business.

Things to remember about fraud:

  • It affects every level of society.
  • It has a negative impact on individuals, organisations, businesses and communities.
  • Fraud costs everyone – both through direct impact and indirectly through taxation and increased cost of products and services.