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Internet Fraud Defense Attorney

Individuals who are convicted of online fraud – including identity theft or hacking into a computer for fraudulent transactions — face felony charges, steep penalties and up to 20 years in prison. Jeffery King is a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Dallas with a strong background in computer and Internet fraud. When facing a computer fraud charge, you need an aggressive, meticulous lawyer who can spot weaknesses in evidentiary findings, helping clients make informed decisions on whether to pursue a plea agreement or take the case to trial.

 

Don’t let a false conviction ruin your career prospects or life – choose a competent, proven defense attorney to protect your rights.

 

Thanks to an increasing reliance on computers for shopping, paying bills and managing bank and credit card payments, Internet fraud has escalated dramatically, sparking concern for both law enforcement officials and civilians. From phishing scams promising low-interest loans to credit card theft, computer fraud is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1030.

Computer fraud

Computer fraud – a term which is used interchangeably with Internet fraud — is defined as use of the Internet or online software to take advantage of or defraud victims. Suspects may be convicted of computer fraud if they utilized a computer system for the purposes of:

  • Conducting an online scam or illegal activity
  • Hacking into a computer’s hardware system without authorization
  • Data theft
  • Identity theft
  • Extorting money or valuables
  • Online sex crimes such as child pornography
  • Destroying or damaging data vital to the operation of a business
  • Denial of service — interrupting an authorized user’s access
  • Phishing – emailing false or forged documents in an effort to gain personal, sensitive information such as bank account numbers or passwords
  • Spoofing – using a fake IP address during online communications in order to deceive recipients into providing private financial information

 

After witnessing a noticeable spike in computer crimes, Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 1986. Under provisions set forth in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030, authorities can prosecute a range of illicit activities that are conducted through chat rooms, websites, e-mail, social media and message boards.

Internet fraud examples

Internet fraud and online schemes steal millions of dollars from innocent victims every year. The following are some of the most common examples of online fraud, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

  • Use of malware/scareware to disable computer systems
  • Internet banking fraud – using computer systems or online means to fraudulently secure money or assets from a bank or financial institution
  • Internet auction fraud – defrauding victims through misrepresentation or fake investment schemes
  • Non-delivery of merchandise – a type of business fraud in which an Internet auction seller purposefully refuses to ship merchandise after receiving payment for the item
  • Business fraud – includes non-payment of funds, use of fake charities to solicit donations, and other illegal activities committed by companies or individuals for financial gain
  • Credit card fraud – Unauthorized use of debit or credit cards, usually through identity theft
  • Phony investment schemes including Ponzi and Pyramid schemes to lure unwitting investors with guaranteed returns

Theft of information

It is a federal crime to use the Internet to steal sensitive data from a secure, private computer network. This includes hacking into a non-public computer for the theft of top secret information (gleaned from government sites), theft of intellectual property or corporate trade secrets, as well as the illegal replication of movies, video games and music that are copyrighted.

Theft of service

In the context of computer fraud, theft of service is a rampant problem wherein computer hackers obtain free access to paid websites or connections without paying fees. Hackers are unauthorized users who illegally break into computer systems in order to steal information, destroy data or install dangerous malware.

 

Under Texas law CSHB 896, residents can be convicted of computer crimes if they have knowingly accessed a computer, system or network “with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property.”

Online fraud penalties

Internet fraud offenses can bring about civil and criminal charges, brought by the individual or entities that were injured or deceived. The U.S. government has established several key task forces to combat online crimes, including the National Cybercrime Training Partnership (NCTP), which trains state and local law enforcement officials on the varied nuances of computer crimes.

 

Punishments for Internet fraud in Texas and around the nation are meant to be severe. A conviction for identity theft can carry a 15-year prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.

Texas Internet fraud defense attorney

When facing allegations of computer crimes, it is wise to align yourself with an experienced Internet fraud lawyer who can perform a meticulous evaluation of evidence and develop strategies to defend false accusations. Using his prior experience as a prosecuting attorney, Jeff King can secure favorable results in the most challenging of cases.

 

We handle online fraud and computer crime cases throughout the greater Dallas metro area. To schedule a free consultation at the Law Office of Jeffery King, please call 469-399-7001.

Additional Internet Fraud Resources:

  1. Jeff King Law, Sharing Password Ends with Jail Time http://jeffkinglaw.com/sharing-password-ends-with-jail-time/
  2. Cornell University Law School, 18 U.S. Code § 1030 – Fraud and related activity in connection with computers https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030
  3. FBI, Internet Fraud https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes/internet-fraud
  4. U.S. Department of Justice, Prosecuting Computer Crimes https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/criminal-ccips/legacy/2015/01/14/ccmanual.pdf
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THE LAW OFFICE OF
JEFFERY KING, PLLC.
2626 Cole Ave.
Suite 415
Dallas, Texas 75204
T: 469-399-7001
info@jeffkinglaw.com
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