AskDefine | Define defraud

Dictionary Definition

defraud v : deprive of by deceit; "He swindled me out of my inheritance"; "She defrauded the customers who trusted her"; "the cashier gypped me when he gave me too little change" [syn: victimize, swindle, rook, goldbrick, nobble, diddle, bunco, scam, mulct, gyp, con]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK /ˈdɪi.fɹɔːd/ /"di:.frO:d/


  1. To obtain money or property by fraud; to swindle


to obtain money or property by fraud
  • Finnish: huijata
  • French: escroquer
  • German: betrügen
  • Spanish: timar

Related terms

See also

Extensive Definition

In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation. Many hoaxes are fraudulent, although those not made for personal gain are not technically frauds. Defrauding people of money is presumably the most common type of fraud, but there have also been many fraudulent "discoveries" in art, archaeology, and science.


In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called "theft by deception," "larceny by trick," "larceny by fraud and deception" or something similar.
Marriage Fraud can take several forms and is the act of entering a marriage for personal gain rather than a genuine desire to enter into a sincere marital relationship. Marriage Fraud is usually associated with obtaining immigration benefits. In the United States, marriage fraud for immigration purposes is punishable under INA §204(c)(1) and the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986. Possible criminal penalties include $250,000 and 5 years in prison as well as deportation and a permanent bar against receiving future immigration status. Marriage Fraud can be either unilateral or bilateral Unity and Immigration Policy in the United States. In a unilateral marriage fraud, only one party is aware of the fraud and the fraud is against both the immigration service as well as the other party. The innocent party may file a lawsuit and/or annulment of the marriage. In a bilateral fraud, both parties are aware of it and both parties are subject to criminal penalties.
In academia and science, fraud can refer to academic fraud – the falsifying of research findings which is a form of scientific misconduct – and in common use intellectual fraud signifies falsification of a position taken or implied by an author or speaker, within a book, controversy or debate, or an idea deceptively presented to hide known logical weaknesses. Journalistic fraud implies a similar notion, the falsification of journalistic findings.
Fraud can be committed through many methods, including mail, wire, phone, and the internet (computer crime and internet fraud).
Acts which may constitute criminal fraud include:
Fraud, in addition to being a criminal act, is also a type of civil law violation known as a tort. A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. A civil fraud typically involves the act of intentionally making a false representation of a material fact, with the intent to deceive, which is reasonably relied upon by another person to that person's detriment. A "false representation" can take many forms, such as:
  • A false statement of fact, known to be false at the time it was made;
  • A statement of fact with no reasonable basis to make that statement;
  • A promise of future performance made with an intent, at the time the promise was made, not to perform as promised;
  • A statement of opinion based on a false statement of fact;
  • A statement of opinion that the maker knows to be false; or
  • An expression of opinion that is false, made by one claiming or implying to have special knowledge of the subject matter of the opinion. "Special knowledge" in this case means knowledge or information superior to that possessed by the other party, and to which the other party did not have equal access.
In the UK a report concluded that the total costs of fraud and dealing with fraud in the year 2005-2006 was at least 13.9 Billion GBP.

Notable frauds

See also


defraud in Czech: Podvod
defraud in Danish: Bedrageri
defraud in German: Betrug
defraud in Esperanto: Trompo
defraud in French: Escroquerie
defraud in Hebrew: עוולת התרמית
defraud in Croatian: Prijevara
defraud in Indonesian: Penipuan
defraud in Italian: Truffa
defraud in Japanese: 詐欺
defraud in Dutch: Fraude
defraud in Norwegian: Bedrageri
defraud in Polish: Oszustwo
defraud in Portuguese: Fraude
defraud in Russian: Мошенничество
defraud in Simple English: Fraud
defraud in Swedish: Bedrägeri
defraud in Chinese: 詐騙

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstract, and, annex, appropriate, bag, bamboozle, beat, beguile, beguile of, bilk, boost, borrow, bunco, burn, cheat, chisel, chouse, chouse out of, circumvent, cog, cog the dice, con, cop, cozen, crib, deceive, delude, diddle, do, do in, do out of, dupe, embezzle, euchre, extort, filch, finagle, flam, fleece, flimflam, fob, foil, fool, fudge, gouge, gull, gyp, have, hoax, hocus, hocus-pocus, hoodwink, hook, humbug, lift, make off with, milk, mulct, nip, outwit, pack the deal, palm, pigeon, pilfer, pinch, poach, practice fraud upon, purloin, rip off, rob, rook, rope in, run away with, rustle, scam, screw, scrounge, sell gold bricks, shave, shoplift, shortchange, snare, snatch, snitch, stack the cards, steal, stick, sting, swindle, swipe, take, take a dive, take in, thieve, thimblerig, throw a fight, trick, victimize, walk off with
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