What Is Fraud By False Representation? Examples

Jul 3, 2024 | Fraud | 0 comments

Fraud by false representation is an increasingly common issue, occurring when a person or a business deliberately lies or misrepresents the truth during a transaction. As detailed in Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, this type of fraud involves making a dishonest and false representation, which the perpetrator knows or suspects to be untrue or misleading. 

The goal is typically to gain a financial benefit for oneself or to cause a loss to another party. Essentially, it involves claiming ownership of assets or money that one does not have, in an attempt to achieve financial gain.

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What is Fraud By False Representation?

Fraud by false representation happens when a person or business deliberately lies or misrepresents the truth during a transaction to financially benefit themselves and/or cause loss to another party. This offense is clearly defined under the Fraud Act 2006, detailing the specific elements that constitute this delict. These elements include:


Dishonesty is when an offender has intentionally misrepresented the truth. An example could be an online seller advertising a product as ‘brand new’ when it has been used extensively, thus deceiving potential buyers about the quality and condition of the product.

Intent to Gain or Cause Loss

It is when the perpetrator’s intent is to either gain something of value or inflict financial or other losses on someone else, even if no actual harm comes about for the crime to be charged. 

For example, if someone manipulates accounting records to attract investment under pretenses, their intent to gain financially through deception is clear, regardless of whether investors lose money.

False Representation

False representation can take many forms, including verbal, written, or deceptive actions. For example, in imposter scams, the criminals might send text messages posing as someone familiar urgently requesting sensitive information or money transfers. 

Jail Time for Fraud by False Representation: Legal Consequences 

Facing a false representation fraud charge can lead to complex legal challenges. Here are some potential legal consequences and penalties you might face: 

Legal Consequences 

Fraud by false representation in the U.S. is considered a serious crime. This offense involves knowingly and deliberately making false statements to obtain benefits or payments. The legal process starts with an investigation, which may last months or years. 

People often remain unaware of the investigation until contacted by authorities. If charged, it’s vital to seek legal representation immediately. Authorities collect evidence like bank statements and electronic communications, and a conviction can result in a fine of up to $10,000 USD, imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

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The Case of Ho Yin Hoey Tai and the Reality of Fraud by False Representation

Ho Yin Hoey Tai, a 28-year-old Hong Kong national and student in South London, engaged in a series of fraudulent activities that came to light following a diligent investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU). 

Tai impersonated bank customers using falsified identity documents to alter account details and then proceeded to make unauthorized transactions. He visited several bank branches, using a fake passport to change contact details, and then requested new bank cards for these accounts.

What Happened Next?

Tai pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation, among other charges, including possession of identity documents with improper intent and conspiracy to commit fraud. The court proceedings emphasized the severity of his actions and the breach of trust involved. Tai was sentenced to two years and two months in prison.

Impact on the Victims and the Role of Banks

In the case of Ho Yin Hoey Tai, while the victims experienced significant financial losses and the psychological distress typical of identity theft, the response from the banks played a crucial role. 

These financial institutions quickly stepped in to mitigate the damage by refunding the affected customers. However, despite these efforts, the breach of trust and security that customers expect from their banks was deeply compromised. 

How to Protect Your Organization from Fraud by False Representation

To prevent and detect fraud within organizations, implementing robust internal controls is essential. Key measures include:

  • Responsibilities: Divide the responsibilities of handling and recording financial transactions to reduce the risk of errors or fraud.
  • Verification: Use dual authorization for issuing checks to enhance oversight and accountability.
  • Control: Ensure that no single individual has control over all parts of a financial transaction to prevent misuse of authority.
  • Approval: All purchases, payroll, and disbursements should require approval from designated personnel to prevent unauthorized transactions.

People can also take steps to protect themselves from fraud by false representation by considering these tips:

  • Vigilance: Stay alert to emails or text messages scams that request financial information or link to unfamiliar sites, especially if they involve changes to financial data or accounts. Verify such communications directly with the source via a known contact number.
  • Security: Regularly update your security software and exercise caution when entering sensitive information on public or shared computers. Always identify fake websites by checking for ‘HTTPS’ in web URLs during transactions to ensure a secure connection.
  • Shred: Destroy documents like bank statements or checks after they are no longer needed to prevent them from being misused if intercepted.
  • Check: Regularly review your bank and credit card statements through online or mobile banking to spot and report any bank fraud or unauthorized transactions quickly.

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Take Action Against Fraud by False Representation with Crypto Scam Defense Network

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by fraud, it’s crucial to seek advice from legal professionals who specialize in cases of fraud by false representation. They can provide the guidance and support needed to handle the complexities of such situations effectively. 

Additionally, joining communities like the Crypto Scam Defense Network can be invaluable. This network offers a supportive environment and resources that empower victims to share their experiences and access vital information to prevent future scams, by understanding the risks and knowing where to find help, you can better protect yourself.

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Fraud recovery is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our community is here to help you share, learn, and protect yourself from future frauds.

Why Join Us?

  • Community support: Share your experiences with people who understand.
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  • Safe space: A welcoming place to share your story and receive support.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Fraud By False Representation

What Constitutes a “False Representation” Under the Law?

Under the law, a “false representation” in the context of fraud by false representation is defined as a statement or conduct by a person or business that deliberately misrepresents the truth during a transaction. 

This misrepresentation is made with the intention of gaining a financial benefit or causing financial loss to another party. As specified in Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. 

Can a Person be Guilty of Fraud By False Representation if no One Actually Suffered a Loss?

Yes, a person can be guilty of fraud by false representation even if no one actually suffered a loss. The crime is established by the act of making a dishonest representation, knowing it to be false or misleading, with the intention of gaining or causing a potential loss to another. The actual occurrence of loss is not a prerequisite for the offense under the Fraud Act 2006.

What are the Most Common Defenses Against a Charge of Fraud By False Representation?

The most common defenses against a charge of fraud by false representation include:

  • Proving a lack of dishonest intent.
  • Demonstrating that the representation was not false or misleading.
  • Showing that the accused did not know the representation was false.
  • Establishing that there was no intention to gain or cause loss to another.

These defenses show the importance of intent and knowledge concerning the falsity of the representation in fraud cases.

Are there Programs or Resources Available to Help Victims of Fraud By False Representation?

Yes, there are programs and resources available to help victims of fraud by false representation, such as those offered by the Crypto Scam Defense Network. This organization provides educational resources, legal advice, and a community platform where victims can share their experiences and receive support. 

What Should I do If I Suspect Someone has Committed Fraud By False Representation Against Me or My Business?

If you suspect fraud by false representation against you or your business, take these steps:

1. Keep all relevant communications and transaction records that might serve as evidence of fraud.

2. Contact the police or relevant regulatory authority to file a report. This is crucial for initiating any legal action and possibly stopping further damage.

3. Immediately let your bank and credit card companies know to secure your accounts and prevent further unauthorized transactions.

4. Consult a legal expert specializing in fraud to discuss your options for recourse and possibly recovering any losses.

5. Notify other parties within your business or network who might also be at risk from the same fraudster.

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