Fraud is defined generally as inducing someone to give up something valuable, usually by lying to them. Fraud is a broad category encompassing several different types of crimes, from bribery and extortion to perjury and obstructing justice. At the federal level, there is mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and securities fraud, to name but a few.
Mail fraud, as the name implies, is a fraud committed by using the U.S. mails. Wire fraud is a fraud committed by using some device other than the mail to transmit the money or goods across state lines or national borders. Bank fraud is a fraud committed against a financial institution.
Securities fraud is using any device, scheme, or artifice to cheat someone in a securities transaction. The securities fraud laws are designed to protect investors from various schemes designed to separate investors from their money.
At the state level, there are many more types of fraud, including deceptive advertising, computer fraud, credit card fraud, health care benefits fraud, home repair fraud, insurance fraud, managed health care fraud, public aid mail fraud, public contract fraud, stock fraud, telephone charge fraud, and welfare fraud.
Business fraud and other crimes. Businesses can be charged with fraud and other crimes, just as an individual can be. Business crimes usually involve executives engaging in illegal actions to benefit the business. Examples include tax avoidance, illegally unsafe working conditions, illegal pollution, price fixing, and knowingly selling unsafe products. Examples of fraud in particular are insurance scams, unlawful lending practices, and securities fraud.