After taking a poll in the office about when the first reported incident of fraud was, we were all surprised to discover it was actually over 2000 years ago, in 300 B.C.!
The information was provided by Experian and makes for interesting reading;
“300 B.C – The earliest recorded attempt.
To chart the history of fraud, you have to start in the year 300 BC. Hegestratos, a Greek sea merchant, took out an insurance policy against his ship and its cargo, the policy was known then as a bottomry. The merchant borrows money on the basis then when the ship arrives at its destination and the cargo, in this case, corn, is delivered, the loan is paid back with interest. If the loan is not repaid, the boat and its cargo or goods to the value of its cargo, are repossessed. However, in what is possibly the earliest recorded attempt of first party fraud, Hegestratos planned to sink his empty ship, shell the corn and keep the loan. Although ultimately, his plan backfired. After being caught in the act of sinking his ship by his crew, Hegestratos was chased off the ship and drowned trying to escape them.”
Read the full article here;