1. What is the crime of fraud
The crime of fraud occurs when a person is deceived to carry out an act of disposition of assets to the detriment of a third party or himself.
This crime is described in articles 248 to 251 of the Spanish Penal Code.
There are other actions that are also considered a crime of fraud, among them we have the following:
- The use of any computer tool that intends to make an unauthorized transfer of any type of assets. What tries to cause damage to a third party.
- The creation of computer programs with the intention of carrying out scams.
- The use of debit or credit cards for operations that intend to harm their holders.
2. Elements that must be present in the crime of minor fraud
For there to be a crime of fraud, the following five elements must be present:
1. Provoking the error and the existence of sufficient deception
Normally the scammer behaves in a calm manner, thus gaining the trust of the victim. On the other hand, the victim falls into the trap due to ignorance.
2. Precedent deception
Deception is what differentiates the crime of fraud from other types of criminal property crimes.
For the crime of fraud to exist, either physically or online, it is essential that the swindled person wants to obtain an economic benefit.
3. What is the penalty imposed for the minor crime of fraud?
The penalty for the crime of fraud is described in article 249 second paragraph of the Penal Code, taking into account certain criteria.
Among which are the economic damage caused, the means used, the amount defrauded, the relationship between the fraudster and the injured party.
The punishment for the basic modality of the crime of fraud is imprisonment between six months and three years. On the other hand, the minor crime of fraud occurs when the amount defrauded does not exceed 400 euros.
The penalty established in article 249 for the minor crime of fraud, minor crime of Internet fraud, minor crime of ATM fraud is a fine of between one and three months.
In article 250 of the Penal Code informs us of the punishment of the crime of aggravated fraud. This type of penalty is imposed in the following cases:
1. The crime of fraud is committed on goods considered essential, such as housing.
2. When the signature of another person is used to steal an official or public document, a process or a file. In case this happens we are facing the crime of fraud and falsehood.
3. When the fraud is considered especially serious, due to the economic situation that it causes to the victim and her family.
4. The crime of fraud is committed on goods that are part of the artistic, cultural or scientific.
5. When the amount defrauded exceeds 50,000 euros.
6. When the fraud is committed by abusing the personal relationships that exist between the victim and the fraudster. The modality is also aggravated when the fraudster takes advantage of his business or professional credibility.
7. In cases where procedural fraud is committed and evidence is manipulated in a judicial proceeding.
When some of these circumstances occur, the penalty applied is imprisonment ranging from one to six years and a fine between six and twelve months. If several of one of these situations occur in the same act, a prison sentence is imposed. Which varies between four and eight years and a fine of twelve to twenty-four months.
4. Macro scams
The macro scam also called pyramid scam is executed when the amount defrauded exceeds 250,000 euros and a large number of people are affected. The penalty imposed is according to the provisions of article 250.2 of the Criminal Code, which ranges from four to eight years, plus a fine of twelve to twenty-four months.
5. What is the minor crime of continued fraud?
The minor crime of continued fraud occurs when the same person carries out several scams using the same methods. This means that in the minor crimes of fraud all the assumptions are considered similar or similar to the other acts committed.
The punishment imposed for the minor crime of continued fraud will be according to the total damage caused. The penalty applied is higher by one or two degrees according to the judge's criteria and it has to be determined if the act is especially serious and if it has affected a generality of people.
6.What should you do if you have been scammed?
The moment you realize that you have been the victim of a crime of fraud, you have to go to a professional specialist in criminal law. With their help you go to the appropriate bodies to start the criminal process.