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The difference between fraud and theft

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2021 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

Many people incorrectly use the terms “fraud” and “theft” interchangeably. While the two are both criminal acts that carry potentially lengthy sentences, they are two different crimes. Residents of Michigan should educate themselves on the differences between fraud and theft so that they can better know what they are dealing with.

What is theft?

Legally, theft is the act of taking something that belongs to someone else without their consent. Theft is considered a crime against property. That means looting, robbery and burglary are all different types of theft.

What is fraud?

Fraud is using deceit or trickery in order to gain an advantage or unfair profit. It is important to note that in order to be convicted of fraud, the deception has to be proven intentional. Typically, fraud is used to get money or some other asset that the person would not typically get access to.

The big difference between fraud and theft

Ultimately, the biggest difference between fraud and theft is that fraudsters will work to ensure that the person they have deceived does not find out they have been duped. This is primarily because as long as the person does not realize that they have been deceived, there can be no case made regarding intentional fraud.

If you have been accused of fraud or theft, you are still afforded all of the legal rights to defend yourself. The charges against you might be dropped due to lack of evidence, but you can damage your own case if you give a statement to law enforcement without proper representation. If accusations of theft or fraud are brought against you, you should immediately contact a defense attorney to help represent you against the claims made against you.