One of the biggest fears any businessman faces is the crime of fraud. Fraud has literally rendered countless companies bankrupt over the ages, since commerce was created.
Fraud also exists in many forms. You can find them online, where the anonymity of the World Wide Web brings both the benefit of privacy and the risk of scams or fake investment schemes. You could find offline as well, perpetrated in plain sight but still somehow unidentifiable to some people or commercial entities.
Because there are many kinds of fraudulent transactions, the governments of different nations define fraud in a variety of ways. In this example, let us look at what Thailand’s law says about fraud, and how it is legally defined.
Definition of Fraud (Chapter 3 , Section 341-348 of the Criminal Code)
It’s worth noting that there are nine ways that a transaction can be considered fraudulent or misrepresented, according to the relevant section of the Thai Criminal Code.
According to the Code, transactions between two parties can be considered as fraud and punishable under law if:
- It has willfully hidden facts pertaining to the transaction that the other party has the right to know under the law.
- It falsely convinces the other participant to execute a legally binding document, or to destroy existing documents, to the benefit of the initiator of the deal.
- The said representative of a commercial entity has misrepresented himself to the other party, or if the initiator has taken advantage of the other party’s lower intellect. The latter applies if an agent convinces a person who cannot read and right to sign a contract without truthfully explaining the stipulations.
- The perpetrator had entered into employment deals with people with the intent to either not pay them for their services, or to pay lower wages than what is guaranteed under law or what had been agreed beforehand between the parties.
- The accused has willfully availed of services and accommodation without the intention and/or the capability to pay for such.
- The person attempts to collect on an insurance policy and putting the insured property to harm along the way. Arson cases in which the perpetrator torches a property with the intention of collecting on the policy are a good example.
Anyone found guilty of these offenses can be imprisoned for at least two years and at most six years. The law also considers offences of this nature as compoundable, which means being found guilty of multiple counts of fraud will lengthen the prison term considerably.
How to Avoid Fraud
Vigilance and prudence are your two most important tools in defending yourself against fraud. If an offer is too good to be true, most likely it’s a fraud. Deals that offer extremely attractive returns are definitely scams, especially when they don’t have anything to show how they’re going to earn the money to pay you back with.
Even deals that have convincing paper work can be fraudulent as well. In these cases, it’s best to contact a legal advisor to ascertain the authenticity and legality of the proposed agreement.
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