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Definition of 'Fraud'

Fraud is a crime in which someone deceives or misleads another person in order to gain something, such as money or property. Fraud can be committed in many ways, including:

* **Impersonation:** Pretending to be someone you're not, such as a government official or a financial advisor.
* **False advertising:** Making false or misleading claims about a product or service.
* **Forgery:** Creating fake documents, such as checks or contracts.
* **Identity theft:** Stealing someone's personal information, such as their Social Security number or credit card number.
* **Ponzi schemes:** Promising high returns on investments that don't exist.
* **Pyramid schemes:** Getting people to invest in a scheme that relies on recruiting new investors to make money.

Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims, both financially and emotionally. It can also damage the economy by making it difficult for businesses to operate and for people to trust each other.

If you suspect that you've been the victim of fraud, there are a few things you can do:

* **File a report with the police.** This will help law enforcement track down the criminals and bring them to justice.
* **Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).** The FTC can help you file a complaint and get your money back.
* **Be vigilant about your personal information.** Keep your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information safe.
* **Educate yourself about fraud.** Learn about the different types of fraud and how to protect yourself from them.

By being aware of the risks and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud.

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