This "fraud" seems reasonable. Parents want to put kids in better school. They hire a consultant. They may not even know it's a bribe. Are we bribing anyone if we pay someone to make our resume looks good?
The headline case in that Daily Mail article wasn't about asking someone to help you improve the presentation of your resume, it was about lying that the two girls were "rowing stars when neither had ever played the sport".
This was one aspect of the cases in the 2019 college admissions scandal, which is well worth reading about to understand the extent to which the parents went. Including:
- arranging to falsely certify children as having a learning disability
- so that they would get extra time in exams and get other accommodations
- and have their exams in locations under the organiser's control (where other people might take the exams)
- falsifying the results of exams
- falsifying sports credentials by bribing sports staff and coaches to lie about the child's ability
- altered documents and set up social media profiles to create fake sports star identities
It was like an espionage operation!
I don't know if we can say those cases were easily prosecuted - they took eight years to come to trial. And there may well be more we don't know about. Singer claimed that "arranging to falsely certify children as having a learning disability" went on 'all the time'.
[oil change scams]
On the face of it, it seems fraudulent to tell someone they need an oil change when you know they don't so that they give you money for that service.
It's certainly fraud to charge someone for changing their oil when you didn't.
I don't know about selling more expensive oils - seems like audio cable sales to me, could be fraud if you tell someone you'll definitely notice a distinct difference between this $10 product and that $1000 product. But it likely 'happens all the time'.
The law regarding fraud depends on the jurisdiction and there might be civil and/or criminal fraud. But in essence fraud is committed when the person intentionally deceives another person to cause a gain to himself or others or inflict loss or risk of loss on others.