Internet Crime: A Growing Offense

Internet crime often overlaps with other criminal offenses, because criminals increasingly use the internet to commit or to aid in committing criminal offenses. Internet crime is also known as cyber crime and can include online fraud, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) matters, hacking, espionage, extortion, money laundering, identity theft, and child pornography and solicitation.
These internet crimes can range in severity from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses. Any person accused of an internet or cyber crime should contact an Internet Crime Defense Attorney immediately.

Illinois Internet Crime Laws

Changing times requires changing laws. With our increased dependence on computers and the internet, Illinois has enacted several laws regarding Internet Fraud. The Illinois Statute regarding internet crimes defines several different types of internet crimes and provides penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

Computer Fraud

  • Accesses a computer with the intent to defraud—Penalty: Class 4 felony
    Obtains, damages or destroys any program or data in a computer in connection with any scheme to defraud—Penalty: Class 3 felony
  • Accesses a computer, program or data and obtains money in connection with any scheme to defraud—Penalty: Class 4 felony less than $1,000, class 3 felony between $1,000 and $50,000, Class 2 felony over $50,000
  • Subject to property forfeiture

Computer Tampering

  • Accesses a computer, network, program or data without authority—Penalty: Class B misdemeanor
  • Accesses a computer, network, program or data without authority and obtains data or services, class A misdemeanor, second offense or subsequent—Penalty: Class 4 felony
  • Accesses a computer, network, program or data and damages, alters or deletes program or data—Penalty: Class 4 felony, second or subsequent offense, Class 3 felony
  • Inserts or attempts or insert a program into a computer that will damage or destroy the computer, alter, delete or remove a computer program, cause loss to the users of the computer, or falsifies or forges electronic mail transmission—Penalty: Class 4 felony, second or subsequent, Class 3 felony
  • Distribute software to falsify routing information that intends to falsify electronic mail transmission—Penalty: class B misdemeanor
  • Injury from unsolicited bulk electronic mail may recover attorney’s fees and costs and the lesser of either $10 per unsolicited mail message transmitted or $25,000 per day

Aggravated Computer Tampering

  • Causes disruption or interference of vital services of State, local government or a public utility—Penalty: Class 3 felony
  • Creates a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to one or more individuals—Penalty: Class 2 felony

Unlawful Use of Encryption

A person may not use encryption to:

  • Commit or further a criminal offense
  • Aid another person in committing a criminal offense
  • Conceal evidence of a criminal offense
  • Conceal the identity of someone that committed a criminal offense
  • Penalty: Class A misdemeanor (unless it is used to commit a crime with a greater penalty, then that penalty can be used)

Common Internet Fraud Scams

According to the FBI, the following are the most common Internet Fraud Scams:

Fraud Scams

  • Telemarketing Fraud
  • Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud
  • Identity Theft
  • Advance Fee Schemes
  • Health Care Fraud/Health Insurance Fraud
  • Redemption/Strawman/Bond Fraud

Investment Related Scams

  • Letter of Credit Fraud
  • Prime Bank Note Fraud
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Pyramid Schemes

Internet Scams

  • Internet Auction Fraud
  • Non-delivery of Merchandise
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Investment Fraud
  • Business Fraud
  • Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud

Fraud Targeting Senior Citizens

  • Health Care Fraud/Health Insurance Fraud
  • Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
  • Funeral and Cemetery Fraud
  • Fraudulent “Anti-Aging” Products
  • Telemarketing Fraud
  • Investment Schemes
  • Reverse Mortgage Scams

Internet Crime Defense Attorney

If you are accused of an internet or cyber crime, it is essential that you seek the help of an Internet Crime Defense Lawyer. Dennis Dwyer is a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer that has experience defending all types of matters. Call his office today and schedule a time to meet with him to discuss your internet crime charges.

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