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How you can commit fraud without realizing it

Fraud cases seem to be on the decline. According to a report published by the United States Department of Justice, fraud cases decreased by 10 percent between 2011 and 2012. 

Even so, fraud remains an extremely common white collar crime, one for which many people face arrest every year. Additionally, many people face charges for fraud they did not even realize they committed. That is because certain actions that constitute fraud are not always obvious. Perhaps fraud took place due to a simple error or mistake. Here are common circumstances in which people face fraud charges without even knowing what happened. 

Disputing a legitimate credit card purchase

Business owners and even private citizens should look at their credit card balances at the end of every month. Sometimes when doing so, they assume a charge was fraudulent and report it as such. However, they may simply have forgotten what that purchase was. Perhaps a spouse, employee or child used the card. With such cases of "friendly fraud," it is important to rectify the situation with the credit card company immediately before more damage is done. 

Not reporting changes to auto insurance company

Whether you drive a personal car or company one, you need to keep your insurance agency informed of any changes. This can include owning a personal car and not telling the agency you now use it as a company vehicle. Most of the time, this is simply an oversight, but it can result in significant charges. 

Accepting too much in unemployment benefits

Sometimes people receive more unemployment benefits than they should due to simple clerical errors. For many, it is far too tempting to simply hang onto the extra money. The right thing to do in the eyes of the law is to return the extra money in full. It is much better to pay it back than for the authorities to find out and charge you with unemployment fraud. 

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