A fake automated teller slot used to commit bank fraud upon bank patrons.
The highly decorated fake uniform worn by a man impersonating a "Marine" caught by two gunnery sergeants at Times Square in New York City, New York
An advertisement for possibly fraudulent "work-at-home scheme"
A fraudulent manufacturer's suggested retail price on a speaker

Intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.

- Fraud

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Widely publicized falsehood so fashioned as to invite reflexive, unthinking acceptance by the greatest number of persons of the most varied social identities and of the highest possible social pretensions to gull its victims into putting up the highest possible social currency in support of the hoax.

The Dreadnought hoaxers in Abyssinian regalia; the bearded figure on the far left is in fact the writer Virginia Woolf.
Thomas Ady's A candle in the dark ... (1656) contains one of the earliest mentions of hocus pocus, the origin of the word hoax.
Great Moon Hoax
Graphic showing differences between misinformation, disinformation, and hoax, presented for Wikimedia Research (2015)

According to Professor Lynda Walsh of the University of Nevada, Reno, some hoaxes – such as the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814, labeled as a hoax by contemporary commentators – are financial in nature, and successful hoaxers – such as P. T. Barnum, whose Fiji mermaid contributed to his wealth – often acquire monetary gain or fame through their fabrications, so the distinction between hoax and fraud is not necessarily clear.


White-collar crime that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a legal instrument with the specific intent to defraud anyone .

On the right, the real sheet of a theatre surimono by Kunisada, on the left with a faked signature of Hokkei, c. 1825
A forged police identification card used by a convicted terrorist.

The similar crime of fraud is the crime of deceiving another, including through the use of objects obtained through forgery.

Mail and wire fraud

A fake automated teller slot used to commit bank fraud upon bank patrons.

Mail fraud and wire fraud are terms used to describe the use of a physical or electronic mail system to defraud another.

Serious Fraud Office (United Kingdom)

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud and corruption in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Independent agency of the United States federal government, created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr, the inaugural Chairman of the SEC
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., near Union Station

Mandatory disclosure of financial and other information about the issuer and the security itself gives private individuals as well as large institutions the same basic facts about the public companies they invest in, thereby increasing public scrutiny while reducing insider trading and fraud.


Act or statement that misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true.

Deception of woman, with self-portrait by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, 1927 (National Museum, Warsaw).
This wallaby has adaptive colouration which allows it to blend with its environment.
The Beguiling of Merlin, by Edward Burne-Jones, 1874

Deceit and dishonesty can also form grounds for civil litigation in tort, or contract law (where it is known as misrepresentation or fraudulent misrepresentation if deliberate), or give rise to criminal prosecution for fraud.

Insurance fraud

A fake automated teller slot used to commit bank fraud upon bank patrons.

Insurance fraud is any act committed to defraud an insurance process.


Crime that involves a computer and a network.

Senator Tommy Tuberville touring the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Alabama in 2021.

Fraud and identity theft (although this increasingly uses malware, hacking or phishing, making it an example of both "computer as target" and "computer as tool" crime)

Criminal law

Body of law that relates to crime.

The Old Bailey in London (in 1808) was the venue for more than 100,000 criminal trials between 1674 and 1834, including all death penalty cases.
An English court room in 1886, with Lord Chief Justice Coleridge presiding
International Criminal Court in The Hague

Fraud in the UK is a breach of the Fraud Act 2006 by false representation, by failure to disclose information or by abuse of position.

Mortgage fraud

Intentional misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission of information relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase, or insure a loan secured by real property.

Mortgage fraud by borrowers from US Department of the Treasury

The law takes a number of steps to enhance criminal enforcement of federal fraud laws, especially regarding financial institutions, mortgage fraud, and securities fraud or commodities fraud.