Fraud Definition

Fraud is any illegal activity perpetrated with the intent to deceive; in the realm of finance, fraud is almost always motivated by personal gain at the expense of someone else. The legal definition of fraud varies by jurisdiction, but it is almost always both a crime and a violation civil law. Most financial hoaxes are in some way fraudulent, although it is certainly possible to lose large sums of money through stupid-but non-fraudulent-investments. If a jurisdiction’s legal definition of fraud stipulates the intent to defraud, fraud charges may be difficult to prosecute in that locale because establishing intent is always difficult.