Internet Fraud Under Federal Law

Internet Fraud Under Federal Law

In 2016, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a project set up by the FBI and other organizations, received 298,728 complaints totaling $1,450 million dollars in losses.  Since 2012 there has been a reported $4.63 billion lost to internet fraud schemes and other computer crimes.

Internet Fraud (also known as cybercrime) is a blanket term used to describe various fraud crimes that involve the use of the internet or computers. Internet Fraud crimes are being heavily prosecuted by the federal government.

Internet Fraud Under Federal Law

In order to secure a conviction for an internet fraud crime, the prosecutor must prove each element of the fraud crime. Among other elements, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you had a plan or scheme to commit fraud, that you intended to defraud someone, and that you used electronic communication (the internet) in furtherance of the scheme.

The prosecutor does not necessarily have to prove that the scheme to defraud was successful, but that it was done knowingly and intentionally. Therefore, a person can be charged with internet fraud even if they never actually received any money.

Common Internet Fraud Schemes

The number and type of internet fraud schemes are vast. Some common types of internet fraud schemes are:

  • Non-delivery of merchandise fraud.
  • Fraudulent sales transactions.
  • Advance fee fraud.
  • Prize sweepstakes or lottery fraud.
  • Work-at-home scams.

Computer Fraud Against the Government

Federal law makes “computer fraud” against the government a crime. 18 U.S.C. 1030. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act makes it illegal to knowingly access a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access that is used by the U.S. government, used by a bank, or used for any commercial purposes to carry out fraud.

Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud Through the Internet

A “phishing” scheme is an act of identity theft or credit card fraud committed with the use of the internet. Phishing emails or websites are designed to steal money. These types of schemes can be prosecuted under federal laws that prohibit identity theft and credit card fraud.

Internet Fraud Defense

To get the best defense it is imperative that you hire an attorney knowledgeable with internet fraud cases. If you have been accused of internet fraud, cybercrimes, or other computer crimes, we are prepared to defend your rights. Our attorneys will work hard to provide you with the best possible defense.

There may be aspects of your case that can be challenged in court in the early stages, so it is essential that you contact us as soon as possible. For a case evaluation contact us via the web or call (480) 219-1366.