Fraud is any process that attempts to take goods or services from an individual. This sometimes results in criminal action such as dental cream lawsuits where individuals file against a company for not doing what they say. The following definitions cover some of the more important terms relating to fraud. Accomplice – individual who takes part in perpetrating the fraud. Advance Fee Scheme – scheme where the perpetrator takes money without planning to deliver anything. Affidavit – statement swearing to specific events. Affiliate Building – several fake companies bid on a project or item to increase the price. Backdate – giving an earlier date to deceive another about the actual time of the event or document. Bait and Switch – technique where a company advertises a cheaper product and then claims it’s sold out, to force customers into buying a more expensive item. Bank Examiner – scheme where an individual cons a bank teller into giving over money by stating that they’re a bank examiner. Bankruptcy Fraud – scheme where a debtor settles debts by claiming bankruptcy. Boiler Room Operation – the selling of worthless goods over the telephone. Bribery – the giving of money or goods for favorable treatment from another. Case Method – the process of finding evidence against a person suspected of fraud. Chain of Custody – the way evidence moves through organizations from the time it’s collected to when it’s used in a courtroom. Chain Letter Schemes – letters passed around that claim the sender will receive something if they continue to pass the letter along to a certain number of people. Code of Ethics – a system of ethics a company or organization uses. Coerce – threatening someone to do something. Collude – the act of working together in a fraud or scheme. Confidence Game – a scheme where an individual identifies an unsuspecting person and cons them, believing that the person will never contact authorities. Cooking the Books – process of changing the accounts to hide or change records. Cyber Crime – fraud and crime committed over the computer and over the internet. Defamation – knowingly making untrue comments about an individual or organization. Documentary Evidence – physical documents taken as proof of a crime. Dumpster Diving – process where an individual goes through the trash to find credit card numbers and other information for the process of fraud. Embezzlement – process of stealing money from a company by one of their employees. Entrapment – process wherein a law enforcement officer traps a person committing a fraud. Expense Report Fraud – lying on an expense report to defraud an employer. Extortion – demanding money in return for keeping a secret. False Credentials – lying about experience or schooling as a way of defrauding an employer. Fictitious Sales – creating fake sales as a way of making a company’s profits look better. Forgery – creating and changing documents for fraudulent purposes. Ghost Employees – fake employees created for the purpose of stealing money. Informant – someone who gives knowledge about a fraud situation, especially in businesses. Insider Trading – process where individuals use unreleased information as way of buying and selling goods. Kickback – financial payment given to a company for better treatment. Kiting – sending fraudulent checks to pay for goods or services so that all checks are flying at one time, without any monetary backing. Lowballing – process of making a low bid and then inflating the price at a later date. Mark – involuntary participant in a fraud. Nigerian Letter Scheme – scheme involving the sending of letters and requesting monetary help, originated in Nigeria. Pyramid Scheme – process where those who sells products to more people earn more money. Red Flag – signs of fraud. Shill – individual who acts as a mark when actually serving as an accomplice. Shorting – purposefully delivering less goods than specified in the hopes of charging the buyer more. Shoulder Surfing – standing over someone’s shoulder at an ATM in the hopes of gaining their PIN number. Whistle blowing – process wherein an employee tells officials about illegal activity on the part of their employer. Fraud often involves law enforcement and lawyers such as denture cream lawyers in the previous example. Those who feel they’ve been defrauded should contact officials as soon as possible. That’s the only way of fixing the problem and preventing the participants from defrauding others.

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Published November 17, 2011 by