Q680: What is the law relating to fraud?
Fraud is the abuse of position, false representation or prejudicing someone's rights for personal gain. Each carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years.
- Fraud by false representation
This offence is committed when a person dishonestly makes a false representation and in doing so intends to make a gain for himself or a loss for another. A representation could be a statement or an act, for example, giving a stolen credit card to a shopkeeper (you are implying that you have the authority to use that card when you don't) or implying that you have goods to sell on an internet auction site (and you don't).
- Fraud by failing to disclose information
This offence is committed by a person who has a legal duty to disclose information and who dishonestly fails to disclose it and in doing so intends to make a gain for himself or cause another loss. For example, a person failing to disclose certain facts to an insurance company when taking out a policy.
- Fraud by abuse of position
This offence is committed by a person who is in a position of trust and who dishonestly abuses that position and in doing so intends to make a gain for himself or cause another loss. For example a person who is caring for an elderly person and has access to their bank account and buys something for themselves.
Fraudsters are always finding new ways to trick you out of your money. For more details on the types of fraud and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim, please see the websites in the related information section. There is also a link to the Action Fraud website that is designed specifically to report fraud and financially motivated internet crime.