Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal complaint division released their annual internet crimes statistics, including our state’s breakdown of internet offenses.
In short, the report identifies nearly 792,000 suspected internet crime complaints submitted throughout the U.S. — up by 300,000 complaints from the previous year — with reported financial losses of over $4.2 billion.
The top three crimes reported by internet or cybercrime victims in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion.
According to the FBI, victims across the U.S. lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud.
At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, our experienced Raleigh criminal defense attorneys know that when the use of a computer comes into play, federal charges can easily follow — even when our North Carolina clients had no idea of the extent of their communications or which laws they were breaking.
Here is what our Wake County criminal defense attorneys want you to know about the different types of online crimes.
What is Considered Online Fraud in North Carolina?
Any online scam that makes false promises may be considered fraud, but they are not the only types of crime that can be accomplished over the internet.
Common types of cybercrimes include:
One of the most common types of cybercrimes is called phishing. This type of fraud is intended to obtain personal information from the recipient and is often disguised as an email or text message from a financial institution requesting sensitive information.
Once it is revealed, the person or people perpetrating the scam can gain access to bank accounts or other important details that can lead to identity theft.
Phishing can also be used to send an email containing a malicious file or link which deploys malware or a virus when clicked by a recipient.
Illegally downloading or reproducing music, movies, games, or other online content without paying for it is called piracy and is a federal offense.
- Online Harassment and Cyberstalking
Online harassment can occur in multiple ways, including directly or indirectly.
Direct harassment includes threats, bullying, or intimidating messages sent directly to the victim via e-mail, direct messages, instant messages, social media, or another Internet communication platform.
Indirect harassment includes subscribing victims to unwanted online services, spreading rumors about the victim in various Internet forums, or sending messages to others in the victim’s name.
Online harassment becomes cyberstalking when repeated unwanted communications persist over time, causing the victim chronic anxiety, the loss of quality of life, or fear for their personal safety and security.
- Online Sex Crimes
The most common type of online sex crime is child pornography.
Modern technology is complicated, and the laws that dictate jurisdiction in cybercrimes cases can be even more complex.
If you have been charged with an online crime, whether it pertains to fraud or sex crimes, contact our skilled criminal defense lawyers in Raleigh who fully understand cybercrimes and technology to ensure an effective strategy is outlined for your unique circumstances.
This is the future we are talking about. Do not leave it to chance.
Have You Been Charged an Online Crime in North Carolina?
Contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys in North Carolina at the Roberts Law Group today by calling (919) 838-6643 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can empower you to take a stand and pursue real results for your unique legal circumstances.