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Is a fraud and a scam the same?

IMHO they are different.

A simple scam might occur once but if it grows into a pattern - to me this can be fraud.

The scam…might be the a seemingly innocent request for aid or assistance… but as a scam will be done over and over again once successful in obtaining the rewards …until forums like this call it to people’s attention. It is fraud once a repetitive pattern is established.

Cuba attracts veteran and newbie travellers. The “Scam / flim-flan” type of behaviour is valuable information for travellers. It is good for the newbie/unseasoned traveller & also for Cuba and Cubans…If more people are aware of the few who are doing this type of behaviour and what it looks like they will not buy in…they will refrain from doing more and tell other travellers

Good question. As words are one of my favorite things, I thought I would check with my dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, at least:

Fraud
: the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person
: intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right

Scam
: a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people
: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation

So, technically it seems both terms mean much the same. I suppose a lot of people use the term scam to suggest a milder sort of fraud.

I think there could be a difference.

Take ths example: Once in the Havana artisans market, a Cuban girl came up to me and said “Take my Picture!” all smiley and bubbly. So I took a quick shot and turned around to my business. Then she said, you owe me one peso for the picture. I said I had no intention of paying her and showed her the picture and deleted it in front of her. I’m sure that there are other people who have paid her the picture.

So is that fraud? Not to my mind. A scam, you bet. I guess its a question of degree. It was clear that I could decline the offer afterwards, much to her chagrin. the offer was simple, a picture for a peso. The only sore point was that she asked for it afterwards and not beforehand. To which I would have said no right off the bat. So did she misrepresent herself, yeah sort of.

Unlike the case where someone walks up to you and starts talking and then says that he works at your hotel, and tries to become buddy buddy, and then gives you a sob story about his starving kids or whatever and asks for money. In this case, he doesn’t work at your hotel, has no kids and they aren’t starving. Here is a person weaving a web of lies in order to hit on your good soul and extract some cash from you. Although here again you have the choice to tell him to shove off.

The lady at the cadeca at the airport who gives you a terrible exchange rate and also short changes you is fraud.

My husband swears that asking “do you want fries with that” without explaining there is an extra charge is fraud (or a scam, if you prefer), and if so it is rampant in Canada. The other day we had lunch and the waitress asked if he wanted gravy on his mashed potatoes. He said yes. There was $1 added to the bill. Legit, or fraud? IMO it should be made clear that there is an additional charge. (when do they start charging if you ask for ketchup?)

You use a scam to commit fraud maybe a good way to put it

Semantics or tense?
Maybe a scam is when you see it coming and fraud is when the money has left your pocket before you realize you were scammed?

I cheated and looked around the web for some insight. One person suggested that scam is just a slang term for fraud. That sounded pretty good.

[quote=@eeeefarm]My husband swears that asking “do you want fries with that” without explaining there is an extra charge is fraud (or a scam, if you prefer), and if so it is rampant in Canada. The other day we had lunch and the waitress asked if he wanted gravy on his mashed potatoes. He said yes. There was $1 added to the bill. Legit, or fraud? IMO it should be made clear that there is an additional charge. (when do they start charging if you ask for ketchup?)

[/quote]

I think it’s usually pretty clear on a menu the prices for items. It’s common to see “with fries additional $X.XX” or “gravy additional $X.XX” so I don’t think this is a scam or fraud, just suggestive marketing.

I tend to think a scam is legal and a fraud is criminal. Asking you for money to buy milk for a non-existant baby is a scam. Asking you for money to invest for you and make you 20%/year return is fraud. Both involve deceit for sure. However, if you go by the dictionary definitions both are illegal.

If a registered charity uses 90% of donations to pay it’s salaries and pay fundraising costs, is it scamming or defrauding the donors?

Is this a scam or a fraud:

(These figures are just for example) My car dealer, KIa, offers a car for 18,000. If you buy it over four months, they say it is interest free. If you pay cash, then they sell it to you as a discount for 15,000.

So in fact you are paying interest, they have done some verbal hocus pocus and made you think that you aren’t paying interest. When in fact you are paying more by having to make payments.

That,to me, is a scam, not illegal, I guess, although I think they could be challenged on deceptive advertising.

There are regulations established by Revenue Canada about the amount of fundraised money that can go towards admin expenses, including salaries. A registered charity could be charged with fraud and lose its designation for not operating within the regulations. Most organizations are acutely careful in allocating human resource costs to ensure that the % spent on admin does not surpass the acceptable limit.
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cgd/fndrsng-eng.html?utm_source=charities&utm_medium=eml

Interesting topic. For Cuba here’s how I view/treat dishonesty…

1.) Scams are fairly inconsequential to me. No one was physically threatened, no one was hurt, no one is left with a vacation horror story. An inexperienced or naive tourist gets relieved of a few bucks, that’s it. Most times the person being scammed doesn’t even know it happened.

In fact most of the scams can make for a good chuckle over a few cocktails and the general consensus should be, “Wow, I didn’t see that one coming. I’ll be more careful in the future!” No big deal.

2.) I treat almost everything else as robbery/thievery and for that I have zero tolerance. I will go bat$hit crazy on a robber/thief, especially when it’s state sanctioned and initiated, supported and perpetuated by a corrupt government official. I love those confrontations.

Cheers,
Terry