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3 Things to Know About Federal Fraud Charges and the Internet

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Internet crimes can vary widely, from federal criminal charges involving child pornography to internet fraud and identity theft. When it comes to federal fraud charges, many different types of offenses that involve the use of the internet. No matter what type of criminal charges you are facing related to unlawful actions on the internet, you are likely to be facing federal charges and will need assistance from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Dallas. While internet-related crimes may also be charged under state law in some circumstances, many of these types of offenses are also charged under federal law. Whenever the internet is used, a person has engaged in communication in interstate commerce, meaning that an offense can be charged under a federal fraud law.

It is critical to learn whether you are facing federal or state charges and to seek help from a federal internet crimes attorney in Dallas. In the meantime, the following are three things to know about federal fraud charges and the internet.

1. Internet Fraud is Defined Broadly

The definition of internet fraud is broad, and it can include many different types of offenses, which we will explain in more detail below. According to the FBI, internet fraud “is the use of internet services or software with internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.”

2. Methods of Internet Fraud Can Vary Widely

The methods by which internet fraud crimes are committed can vary widely and will often depend upon the specific type of fraud that a person is alleged to have committed, from bank fraud or wire fraud to health care fraud and identity theft. The FBI identifies the following as some of the most “high-profile methods” of committing internet fraud offenses that can be prosecuted under different federal statutes:

  • Data breaches, or when personal or confidential information is viewed or stolen from an individual or a corporation;

  • Business e-mail compromise scams, which involve the theft of funds by intruding into business email accounts (these scams are usually known as e-mail account compromise scams if they target the general public);

  • Use of malware or scareware to disabled computer systems and gain access to information;

  • Phishing, which can also be known as spoofing and involves sending emails that appear to be sent by one party but are actually sent by the scammer with the aim of obtaining sensitive information; and

  • Ransomware, which often involves phishing or spoofing in order to gain access to a computer system and to force the owner of the system to pay a ransom in order to regain access to the sensitive information and other data contained within the computer system.

3. Many Types of Federal Fraud Charges Involve the Internet

Many different types of federal fraud charges can involve the internet, including but not limited to:

  • Bank fraud;

  • Credit card fraud;

  • Health care fraud;

  • Identity theft; and

  • Wire fraud.

Contact an Experienced Dallas Fraud Defense Lawyer

If you are being investigated for any kind of internet-related fraud or you have been arrested for or charged with an internet fraud offense, you should get help from a Dallas federal fraud defense attorney today. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC to learn more about how we can assist with your defense.