8 Ways You Can Be Accused of Fraud

Have you been accused of committing fraud? In this article, a federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss eight of the most common crimes associated with fraud. Even if you are completely innocent of a crime, it’s important to know about the different types of fraud. If you have been accused of any of the crimes in this article, consult our criminal defense law attorneys in Tampa.  

1) Credit Card Fraud

It’s not unusual in the modern day for a consumer to discover that their credit card was compromised. There are many ways this can happen, including:

  • The consumer’s information was stolen and sold on the black market
  • The consumer filled out a fraudulent application online or over the phone
  • The credit card owner’s account was taken over by another party
  • A consumer either lost their card or their new card was intercepted through the mail

If you have been accused of credit card fraud, speak with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa to learn about more potential legal defense strategies. 

2) Telemarketing Fraud

Telemarketing fraud is considered to be any type of misleading or deceptive offer made through phone solicitation services. Although there are plenty of credible telemarketing businesses that reach out to consumers, solicitors need to be aware of restrictions under Florida law. You can learn more about telemarketing requirements in the Sunshine State by visiting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) website.

3) Identity Theft Crimes

There are a variety of ways a person’s identity can be stolen, ranging from online research to even digging through their trash. An identity thief can obtain credit card information, a social security number, a driver’s license number, or other information without a person’s consent and use this information to apply for a line of credit, file a fraudulent tax return, or collect earned wages in someone else’s name. If you have been accused of identity theft, the prosecution must prove that you used this information with unlawful intent. In some cases, a person is given consent to use personal information or a suspect is arrested in a case of mistaken identity.     

4) Business-Related Scams

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), here are five of the “riskiest scams” involving businesses:

  • Job Opportunities: An applicant is offered a “too good to be true” job with a company offering high pay, remote work, and flexible hours. In order to get the job, the applicant must fill out employment paperwork that includes their personal information. Unfortunately, the job offer was not real and another entity now has their information. 
  • Online Buying Scams: A buyer purchases an item online from a seller offering a significantly cheaper price than usual, but the item either doesn’t arrive or an inferior product is sent in its place. 
  • Fixer Upper: A door-to-door solicitor offers repair work at an affordable price and collects payment to buy materials. They never return to perform the work, effectively disappearing by giving false information. 
  • Fake Checks: A business sends a check to a consumer but “accidentally” overpays. They request the consumer to wire the additional money back; however, it’s discovered at a later date by the bank that the check was fake.  
  • Fraudulent Loans: If a person qualifies for a loan, the loanee agrees to pay the additional charges to process the loan; however, the loanee never receives the loan from the fraudulent lending officer.   

5) Ponzi Schemes

Investment frauds like Ponzi schemes look great on paper because the investor is offered a high return with little risk of losing their money. Ponzi schemes involve unregistered investments with the SEC and lack documentation to show the investor how their money was invested. The scheme involves the orchestrator taking the new investor’s money to pay off previous investors while keeping the remaining funds.

6) Fraudulent Nonprofit Organizations 

Whether it’s a fake natural disaster fund, a bogus charity on a for-profit website, or a charity that is not government-approved, there are several ways a charity program’s organizer can be accused of charity fraud. Moreover, an organization may be considered credible, but if it’s discovered that the charity failed to devote much (if any) of their donations to their cause, it can also result in legal action. 

7) Medical Care Crimes

Healthcare and insurance fraud are common crimes. For example, a healthcare provider may perform unnecessary services or overbill their patients. In other insurance-related cases, a solicitor may obtain a person’s Medicare information for fraudulent use. If you are a healthcare provider who has been accused of healthcare fraud, you can experience excessive fines, potentially lose your license, or face incarceration if found guilty of fraud.  

8) Payroll Fraud

Any type of action that results in stealing cash through a businesses’ payroll system is considered payroll fraud. Examples include an employee requesting an advance on their pay and never paying the business back, or a bookkeeper or payroll staff reallocating funds from the company payroll into a direct deposit. 

Any of the above types of fraud cases are complex and can result in serious penalties. If you have been accused of fraud, speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa.

For a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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