Houston Internet Crime Lawyer
Statistics on Cyber Crime and Internet Crime
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, 2011 marked the third year that the Center received over 300,000 complaints. It is estimated that the dollar loss of these complaints totaled $485.3 million. The most common complaints by victims include identity theft, advance fee fraud, and FBI-related scams, and the top three states for complaints were California, Florida and Texas.
Internet crimes have grown exponentially in popularity over the last decade, and federal law enforcement agencies are doing everything in their power to track down offenders and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. In fact, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have direct access to data and resources within their locality, state or region that allows them to analyze and compile information about internet crimes. They can then share this information with other agencies in order to track down perpetrators.
For these reasons and more, those who are accused of internet crimes must be proactive in defending their rights and their innocence. A conviction of this nature can result in a lengthy prison sentence and other severe penalties as well.
Types of Internet Crimes in Houston, TX
Some of the most commonly committed internet crimes are directly rooted in fraud and deception tactics. FBI-related scams were the most reported offense in 2011, and these crimes involve scams in which a person poses as an FBI agent for the purpose of defrauding victims. Identity theft, another popular internet crime, involves the unauthorized use of a victim's personal identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft via the internet is especially popular because many victims are completely unaware that anything has been stolen from them until it is too late.
Another common crime called advance fee fraud takes place when criminal convince victims to pay a fee to receive something of value, but do not deliver anything of value in return. Many of these schemes involve telling a victim that he or she has won a prize or been selected for a business deal that can gain easy money. The only condition required is that the victims have to pay a small amount of money in advance. When this happens, the victim will usually continue to be contacted for more payments with the promise that easy money is on the way.
Non-auction or non-delivery of merchandise is also a popular internet crime in today's cyber world. This occurs when a purchaser does not receive the items purchased. Many of the complaints filed in 2011 also involved overpayment fraud. This crime takes place when a victim receives an invalid monetary instrument with instructions to deposit in a bank account and then send a portion of the excess funds back to the deposited money back to the sender.
The newest internet crime on the block is auto-auction fraud. This happens when someone attempts to sell a vehicle that they do not own by creating an attractive deal on the internet at a price below book value. These scams created losses of $8.2 million in 2011 and a complaint was filed approximately every two hours for auto-auction fraud.
Fighting Internet Crime Charges
If you are under investigation for an internet crime, you must take action immediately to seek legal protection. Here at the Law Offices of Q. Tate Williams, P.C., I have been defending the rights of individuals accused of serious crimes for over a decade. The laws regarding internet usage are continually changing, and I stay up-to-date with the laws so that I can fully protect your rights. Contact my firm today to speak with a Houston internet crime attorney who will fight aggressively to protect your future.