What Makes Internet Crime So Common?
It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do—there are warnings about online scams. Hackers are creating fake websites to steal your credit card and personal information. You receive emails from your long-lost relatives guaranteeing million-dollar fortunes. Your computer’s antivirus software is working overtime to keep your computer safe.
Internet crime is happening on a daily basis. In fact, it was on the rise in 2018, accounting for more than 350,000 complaints in the United States alone. This is an average of more than 900 per day. Victims are adults of all ages, but those over the age of 50 are especially at risk.
The most common scams involve non-payment or non-delivery. This means people selling items online and never receiving payment, or people receiving payment and never delivering the item. The most costly scams, however, involve romance fraud and investment schemes, such as those similar to Ponzi schemes. There are also business email compromise scams, in which hackers infiltrate the email accounts of businesses and ask recipients to purchase gift cards or transfer money fraudulently.
But why is internet crime so popular? It’s financially lucrative. In 2018, online theft and fraud cost victims a whopping $2.7 billion. People are making money, and they’re doing it by scamming people and selling personal information. Hackers can use tools such as malware and ransomware to shut down the computers of large businesses and demand huge sums of money in order to get their technology operational again.
But huge corporations are not the only ones at risk. Anyone who uses a computer can be a victim. Almost everyone is online nowadays. Just about everyone has an email account. People are living their lives online through social media, online bank accounts and online health records. People share their names, addresses, phone numbers and even credit card details when signing up for online services, and there’s no guarantee that this information is secure. A lot of data can be found online about a person, so stealing one’s identity is easier than ever.
Plus, it can be difficult to catch a hacker, since they are not exposing their identity. They are hiding themselves behind a computer. While law enforcement officials have the ability to track hackers using computer IP addresses, hackers often use their skills and spoofing tools to hide any identifying information. This means it could be a long time before a hacker is caught.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Internet crimes are easy to commit, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences involved. In some cases, state and federal charges apply, so it’s possible to be convicted of a felony and face many years in prison, as well as hefty fines.
You need to do what you can to protect yourself and avoid this fate. The Columbia internet crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can provide you with a solid defense. Don’t handle cyber crime charges on your own. To schedule a free consultation today, call (410) 774-5987or fill out the online form.