What is Internet Fraud?
What is Internet fraud? While a relatively new crime, given that the internet has not been around for more than a few decades, internet fraud or cybercrime is a serious issue that can have disastrous effects on the lives of the victims. Internet fraud does not refer to a single crime under the California Penal Code, rather it refers to crimes conducted with the internet. Most of these crimes are punished under federal law. There are three specific elements that must be met in order to convict the perpetrator. First, they must have had a plan to commit fraud. Second, the perpetrator must have intended to defraud another person. Third, the perpetrator executed their plan to defraud using electronic communication. If you have been falsely accused of committing a crime under the internet fraud umbrella, then immediately seek the experienced counsel of a Los Angeles Internet Fraud Defense Lawyer at Law Advocate Group, LLP. These knowledgeable lawyers are highly skilled in defending against such accusations.
A specific type of internet fraud is called phishing. This uses email communication to trick victims into providing their sensitive personal information, which then would be used unlawfully by the perpetrator. California Penal Code 530.5 PC deals with such identity theft laws. It makes it illegal to obtain through email, without the victim’s consent (through fraud), information like bank account numbers, passwords, passport numbers, social security numbers, names, and many more.
The penalty for phishing is considered a wobbler. The perpetrator can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the context of the phishing crime, whether or not the information was used, and their past history of criminal activity. Therefore, the penalty can fall between one to three years in a prison facility.