What You Need To Know About Cybercrime

The last few decades have brought unseen technological advancements which has helped shape much of our society today. Things are more digital, cloud-based, and wirelessly connected than ever before. With this rise in technology comes a downside. Cybercrime.

Cybercrime is the use of a computer to commit illegal actions such as fraud, trafficking intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.

Definition & Types of Internet Fraud

Internet fraud is one type of cybercrime that is relatively profuse. The FBI describes cyberfraud as “the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.”

In other words, if you are using the internet to obtain data, valuable items, or monetary benefits through illegal means, you are likely committing cyber fraud in some capacity.

To provide more context, here are some examples of cyber-crimes:

Credit Card Fraud - When a person steals or illegally uses another’s credit card without consent, often over the internet.

Phishing - This involves ending emails or texts claiming to be a reputable organization in order to get individuals to reveal personal information.

Wire Fraud - This involves electronically transmitting something associated with fraud.

Hacking - Not all hacking is considered internet fraud; only certain types of hacking are.

Other CyberCrimes

Cybercrimes don’t only take the form of fraud. They vary in how they can take place. Here are some other examples of cybercrimes:

  • Identity theft - Defined by the US Govt as Identity (ID), theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. The identity thief may use your information to apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status and cost you time and money to restore your good name.

  • Hacking or shutting down websites - Using computers to gain unauthorized access to data or shut down websites.

  • Phishing - Phishing is a type of online scam that targets consumers by sending them an e-mail that appears to be from a well-known source – an internet service provider, a bank, or a mortgage company, for example. It asks the consumer to provide personal identifying information.

  • Interfering or disrupting networks - When someone creates an outage or hacks a program making users lose connection or access to data.

  • Stealing private information/data - Data theft is stealing information stored on computers, servers, or other devices from unknowing individuals with the intent to compromise privacy or obtain confidential information.

  • Cyberextortion - This is a crime involving an attack while asking a demand for money or some other response in return for stopping or remediating the attack

  • Cryptojacking - The unauthorized hacking or stealing of an individual’s cryptocurrency.

  • Online Harassment - This can include sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else, causing embarrassment or humiliation.

Ultimately, if you are stealing data, infringing on someone’s privacy, taking personal or monetary information, exposing confidential info, or hacking a network, you are likely committing a cybercrime.

What Should You Do Next?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a cybercrime, often the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (305) 330-1360