Misrepresentation of facts intended to gain for the falsifier tangible or intangible property constitutes fraud. Criminal fraud occurs with the loss of a valuable possession by the victim. This can be money, real estate, jewels, securities, collectors items of diverse kinds such as paintings, historical documents; but also copyrights, patents and other ownership intangibles. Omission or concealment of facts constituting fraud may be prosecuted as criminal under European and derivative legal codes, but under Anglo-American legal systems may be treated as deceit in civil, rather than criminal legal actions.
Common types of criminal fraud include the use of bank cheques for which there are no funds; the confidence game; filing false claims for insurance, government subsidies and compensation; under stating the value of taxable property, over charging clients by, for example, stating higher costs in billing clients; not paying clients the full proceeds of sales; kickbacks; manipulation of prices; taking an advanced fee without delivering services or goods; using credit cards and other financial instruments without authorization; and impersonation.
Neglecting national variations in the basis of statistical estimates, figures from Interpol indicate that in 1990 there were approximately 1,779,000 cases of fraud reported from 91 countries worldwide, namely 58.7 per 100,000 population; some 1,470,000 (namely 83%) were claimed to have been resolved. In the UK the amount of fraud brought to the courts increased in 1993 by 11% rising to £704 million.