Fraud or defraud

Fraud is a noun for the practice of lying to someone in order to gain something, either money or some other beneficial intangible. It is also the word for a person who commits fraud. Another term for this kind of person is a fraudster. This term is mainly used in British English, but can be found in some US publications as well.

Defraud is a verb that describes a practice of lying to someone or an institution to steal money specifically. This includes acts like identity theft and electronic hacking.

A person who defrauds someone else is a defrauder.


Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthew Burwell announced yesterday the largest ever healthcare fraud takedown. [FOX Business]

Two days after arrest of chit fund fraudster who duped hundreds of crores of rupees, police said accused worked in different small companies and rose to become a multi-millionaire through unlawful means. [The  Times of India]

Earlier in the day the children’s barrister Christopher Withers told the court Mrs Rinehart executed a “complex and cunning plan” to defraud her children of the assets and made calculated inclusions in the deeds that unbeknownst to the children, bound them to arbitration. [Sydney Morning Herald]

A defrauder intercepted the credit card information contained in the card’s magnetic strip and used it to make a fake credit card, which Heaps said is as simple as a trip to Home Depot for some supplies. [Gazette Net]

2 thoughts on “Fraud or defraud”

  1. defraud is kind of an odd word, isn’t it?

    debark is to remove barkdebunk is to strip away the bunkumdebase is to sully the fundamental property of the subjectdebilitate is to impare the nominal aptness of people, but animals toodebone … remove bones from carcasses and cutsdeburr … polish off burrs made in cutting or drillingdecode … unscramble a cyphered or coded messagedecalcifydecampdecapitalizedeflagratedeception … of the -ception family (in-, re-, con-, apper-, inter-, ex-, per-)devolvedetain

    and so on. But defraud stands nearly alone in being the verb that has an actor perpetrating a fraud of some sort against a person or institution. It more properly might have been infraud, or perfraud. Didn’t happen.

    English is such a confounding language at times.



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