Cyber or Digital Fraud: What To Do If Accused

Cyber or digital crimes are occurring more frequently due to the pandemic. Although you may not have committed a cyber crime, you still might stand accused if your device was used to commit crime or if the actions can be traced to any of your accounts.

In this brief article, a fraud defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares the most common types of digital fraud and how to defend yourself if you find yourself facing allegations of cyber crimes.

Common Types of Digital Fraud

Digital fraud goes beyond stealing credit cards via skimmers at gas stations. It can be far more subtle, creating a trail that can be traced back to you. A few common types of fraud include:

Credit Card Fraud

Florida Statute 817.61 has an extensive and comprehensive description of credit card fraud. However, in Florida, the general definition of fraudulent use of credit cards is considered an attempt to defraud a person or organization for the purpose of “obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value” by using a forged credit card, passing off that you’re the holder of the card, or using a card that has not been issued. Florida law considers a credit card to be a “credit card, credit plate, bank service card, banking card, check guarantee card, electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, or debit card or by any other name.”

Under Florida law, committing credit card fraud two or fewer times in any six-month period to obtain money, goods, or services valued at less than $100 is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a one-year prison sentence and $1,000 fine. If over a six-month period of time, a person were to commit credit card fraud two or more times to obtain money, goods, or services valued at greater than $100, they would be charged with a third-degree felony punishable by up to a five-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine.

Identity Theft

Florida ranked number four in the nation for identity theft, according to a recent study. This constitutes a major number of accusations of fraud in the state as a whole. Identity theft occurs when someone steals the identity and credentials of another person. This can be taking someone’s identity online but is more likely the case of stolen funds through stolen information and posing as the other person. A case of identity theft can be challenging to prove unless a paper trail makes it clear.

Computer Trespassing

Typically associated with hackers, computer trespassing is defined as accessing, altering, deleting, damaging, destroying, or disrupting any computer, computer system, computer network, computer program, or data intentionally and without authorization. Computer trespassing can be as simple as a disgruntled employee (or former employee) entering a company’s servers and deleting important files. It may seem like a prank or not a big deal, but it is a federal crime.

Criminal Lawyers in Tampa can Help

If you have been wrongfully accused of digital fraud or other types of cyber crimes, you have the right to defend yourself. A Tampa fraud defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm can help you find the best defense for your unique situation and can investigate to help you find out why you are being targeted.

For a free consultation with criminal lawyers in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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