Financial Fraud

Financial fraud occurs when someone takes money or other assets from you through deception or criminal activity. Understand the various types of financial fraud and how you can protect yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who are the victims of financial statement fraud?

    Investors and shareholders are usually the victims of financial statement fraud. This is especially true during an initial public offering (IPO) when investor funds go directly to the company. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) defines it as "deception or misrepresentation that an individual or entity makes knowing that the misrepresentation could result in some unauthorized benefit to the individual or to the entity or some other party."

  • How do I report financial fraud?

    To report financial fraud call the FBI at 202-324-3000 or visit You can also contact the local U.S. Attorney's Office where the fraud was committed—there are 93 offices. Plus, some government agencies target particular types of financial fraud, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchance Commission or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

  • What are the different types of financial fraud?

    Criminals are constantly creating new types of fraud. But some common standards include embezzlement, insurance fraud, ransomware, identity theft, financial statement fraud, bribery, mortgage fraud, tax evasion, and ponzi schemes.

  • How do I avoid financial fraud?

    There are a few things you can do. Block unwanted calls and text messages. Do not give personal information without doing your research. Never pay anyone with a gift card or wire transfer. And if you were a victim, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Is financial fraud a felony?

    It depends. Both the federal government and each state have many laws that criminalize various types of fraud, and each type of fraud comes with its own classifications and penalties. Some can be civil wrongs and others can be criminal. They can come with jail time and/or fines.

Key Terms

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