While the word fraud may conjure up ideas of despicable behaviour in the minds of most people, it is rarely so straightforward in reality. There are many different types of mistakes anyone can make that might be classified as fraud. If you’ve been charged with fraud, it is important that you are familiar with your legal rights. In this blog, we examine the different types of fraud offences in Melbourne and possible defences for each one.

Types of Fraud

Fraud is a wide-ranging offence that can take many forms. Some of the most common fraud offences include:

Falsification of Documents

While it is common knowledge that forgery of legal, financial and other documents is illegal, it is less commonly known that the falsification of documents can also be considered to be fraud. In general, one of the most common actions that can give rise to a falsification of documents charge is when a person signs a document pretending to be another person. You can get in trouble for using such a falsified document to mislead another person or to attempt to defraud someone else.


Blackmail refers to a situation where an individual makes a demand of another person, while threatening to cause harm of some sort to the other person if the demand is not met. Common situations where you may face a charge for blackmail include cases where you find out that another person is cheating on their partner and threaten to reveal this information unless the other person pays you some money. 


Hacking, more commonly referred to as the unauthorised access of data, is an increasingly prevalent fraud offences. When playing around with the code on various websites, there is a fine line between harmless fun and hacking. If you access or modify data such as passwords without authorisation, chances are that you may face a criminal charge for hacking.

Possible Defences to Fraud Offences

Depending on the specific fraud offence, the defence that you can raise in court may vary. Some common defences to fraud include:

  • Proving that your demand was lawful in the case of blackmail.
  • Arguing that you did not commit the offence in cases of hacking.
  • Arguing that you reasonably believed that you had the right to modify a document in cases of falsification of documents.

 Getting a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Melbourne

If given a choice, no one would want to face criminal charges. However, everyone makes mistakes and if you find yourself in a position where you are facing a fraud charge, it is important for you to engage a criminal defence lawyer. A fraud lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and can help you to argue your defence if your case goes to court. 

Leanne Warren & Associates is a leading firm of criminal barristers in the Melbourne area. With decades of experience, our team will definitely be able to help you mount the best possible defence for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.