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Definitions of fraud

Once someone's mind is made up to take advantage of someone else, human ingenuity, particularly when committing fraud, is unlimited. As it's believed P T Barnum once said, 'There is a sucker born every minute'. Perhaps less well known is his other phrase, 'Trust everyone, but cut the deck'.

It is important for forensic accountants to understand the definitions, models and limits of fraud in order that they can understand fraud and fraudsters.

One person can harm another by force, words or fraud. The use of force to cause injury is widely condemned in most societies, but for some reason fraud, which causes financial injury, does not carry the same degree of approbation. Part of the reason for this can be traced to the word fraud itself, which has many meanings, including: