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Daily Fraud Fact: What is Fraud?


Know what fraud is.

Fraud is knowingly misrepresenting the truth or concealing important facts to harm another or benefit oneself. There are two key characteristics of fraud:

  • First, the person acts intentionally, with purpose. This separates fraud from honest errors or mistakes.
  • Second, the perpetrator’s actions are hidden. Unlike other offenses, the person actively works to hide the illegal activity. That is why fraud is often difficult to identify.

Become aware of fraud.

Governments are frequent fraud targets. Three types of fraud often occur in government:

  1. Occupational fraud committed by employees (e.g. theft or embezzlement).
  2. Consumer fraud, including consumers defrauding the government (e.g. benefit fraud).
  3. Cyber fraud, including hacking and other cyber attacks (e.g. theft of private or sensitive data).

Take Steps this week to find out how you can spot and prevent fraud.

Many government agencies are actively working to decrease fraud. Check out the Fraud Reporting Resources pages to find out how to report suspected fraud schemes.

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