Fraud is an intentional act of deceit for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage that results in an injury to the rights or interests of another person. Acts of deceit include presentation of false or misleading information, suppressions of the truth and lies. Fraud perpetrators are often referred to as white-collar criminals to distinguish them from criminals who commit violent crimes.
The characteristics of fraud include:
1. The perpetrator of the fraud must have gained the trust or confidence of the person being defrauded.
2. In contrast to other crimes, a perpetrator of fraud uses trickery via false and misleading information rather than physical force.
3. Most frauds, once committed are difficult to stop and as a result a pattern ensues.