AskDefine | Define fraud

Dictionary Definition



1 intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
2 a person who makes deceitful pretenses [syn: imposter, impostor, pretender, fake, faker, sham, shammer, pseudo, pseud, role player]
3 something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage [syn: fraudulence, dupery, hoax, humbug, put-on]

User Contributed Dictionary




From fraude, from fraudem (accusative of fraus).


  1. An act of deception carried out for the purpose of unfair, undeserved, and/or unlawful gain, esp. financial gain.
  2. Such an act injurious to another.
  3. One who performs such an act.


an act of deception
injurious act
one who performs fraud

Extensive Definition

In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation. Many hoaxes are fraudulent, although those not made for personal gain are not technically frauds. Defrauding people of money is presumably the most common type of fraud, but there have also been many fraudulent "discoveries" in art, archaeology, and science.


In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called "theft by deception," "larceny by trick," "larceny by fraud and deception" or something similar.
Marriage Fraud can take several forms and is the act of entering a marriage for personal gain rather than a genuine desire to enter into a sincere marital relationship. Marriage Fraud is usually associated with obtaining immigration benefits. In the United States, marriage fraud for immigration purposes is punishable under INA §204(c)(1) and the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986. Possible criminal penalties include $250,000 and 5 years in prison as well as deportation and a permanent bar against receiving future immigration status. Marriage Fraud can be either unilateral or bilateral Unity and Immigration Policy in the United States. In a unilateral marriage fraud, only one party is aware of the fraud and the fraud is against both the immigration service as well as the other party. The innocent party may file a lawsuit and/or annulment of the marriage. In a bilateral fraud, both parties are aware of it and both parties are subject to criminal penalties.
In academia and science, fraud can refer to academic fraud – the falsifying of research findings which is a form of scientific misconduct – and in common use intellectual fraud signifies falsification of a position taken or implied by an author or speaker, within a book, controversy or debate, or an idea deceptively presented to hide known logical weaknesses. Journalistic fraud implies a similar notion, the falsification of journalistic findings.
Fraud can be committed through many methods, including mail, wire, phone, and the internet (computer crime and internet fraud).
Acts which may constitute criminal fraud include:
Fraud, in addition to being a criminal act, is also a type of civil law violation known as a tort. A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. A civil fraud typically involves the act of intentionally making a false representation of a material fact, with the intent to deceive, which is reasonably relied upon by another person to that person's detriment. A "false representation" can take many forms, such as:
  • A false statement of fact, known to be false at the time it was made;
  • A statement of fact with no reasonable basis to make that statement;
  • A promise of future performance made with an intent, at the time the promise was made, not to perform as promised;
  • A statement of opinion based on a false statement of fact;
  • A statement of opinion that the maker knows to be false; or
  • An expression of opinion that is false, made by one claiming or implying to have special knowledge of the subject matter of the opinion. "Special knowledge" in this case means knowledge or information superior to that possessed by the other party, and to which the other party did not have equal access.
In the UK a report concluded that the total costs of fraud and dealing with fraud in the year 2005-2006 was at least 13.9 Billion GBP.

Notable frauds

See also


fraud in Czech: Podvod
fraud in Danish: Bedrageri
fraud in German: Betrug
fraud in Esperanto: Trompo
fraud in French: Escroquerie
fraud in Hebrew: עוולת התרמית
fraud in Croatian: Prijevara
fraud in Indonesian: Penipuan
fraud in Italian: Truffa
fraud in Japanese: 詐欺
fraud in Dutch: Fraude
fraud in Norwegian: Bedrageri
fraud in Polish: Oszustwo
fraud in Portuguese: Fraude
fraud in Russian: Мошенничество
fraud in Simple English: Fraud
fraud in Swedish: Bedrägeri
fraud in Chinese: 詐騙

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstraction, acting, actor, affectation, affecter, annexation, appearance, appropriation, artfulness, artifice, attitudinizing, ballot-box stuffing, bamboozlement, barracuda, bilk, bilker, blagueur, bluff, bluffer, bluffing, boosting, bunco, cardsharping, charlatan, cheat, cheater, cheating, chicane, chicanery, clinquant, color, coloring, con artist, con man, confidence man, conversion, conveyance, counterfeit, cozenage, craft, craftiness, credibility gap, deceit, deceitfulness, deceiver, deception, defrauder, delusion, diddle, diddling, disguise, dishonesty, disingenuousness, dissemblance, dissembling, dissimulation, dodge, double-dealing, dummy, dupery, duping, duplicity, embezzlement, facade, face, fake, fakement, faker, fakery, faking, false air, false front, false show, falseheartedness, falsity, feigning, feint, filching, fishy transaction, flam, flimflam, flimflammer, forgery, forswearing, four-flushing, fourflusher, frame-up, fraudulence, fraudulency, front, gerrymandering, gilt, gloss, graft, grift, guile, gyp, gyp joint, hanky-panky, hoax, hollow man, hoodwinking, humbug, humbuggery, illicit business, imitation, impersonator, imposition, impostor, imposture, insincerity, intrigue, inveigler, junk, knave, liberation, lifting, malingerer, man of straw, mannerist, masquerade, meretriciousness, mock, monkey business, mountebank, ostentation, outward show, paper tiger, paste, performer, perjury, phony, pilferage, pilfering, pinchbeck, pinching, playacting, playactor, poaching, pose, poser, poseur, posing, posture, pretender, pretense, pretension, pretext, put-on, put-up job, quack, quacksalver, quackster, racket, representation, ringer, rip-off, rogue, ruse, saltimbanco, scam, scoundrel, scrounging, seeming, sell, semblance, sham, shammer, shark, sharp practice, sharper, shoddy, shoplifting, show, simulacrum, simulation, snatching, sneak thievery, snitching, speciousness, stealage, stealing, stratagem, straw man, subterfuge, swindle, swindler, swindling, swiping, theft, thievery, thieving, tinsel, treachery, trick, trickery, trickster, uncandidness, uncandor, unfrankness, unsincereness, untruthfulness, varnish, whited sepulcher, wile, window dressing
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