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Law enforcement cracks down on internet fraud

People in Iowa and across the world know that the internet is the new frontier of business and commerce, and as the level of internet usage for financial transactions and communication continues to increase, the amount of fraudulent activity on the internet is increasing, as well. According to a 2013 report issued by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, there were over 250,000 complaints of internet crime in the last year, totaling roughly $780 million in financial losses.

There are many types of computer fraud that are common in the United States. Identity theft is among the most common and damaging of internet-based crimes and there are many ways in which people are coerced or tricked into revealing sensitive personal and financial information. Many scams involve a person impersonating a government or law enforcement official and using his or her phony authority to get a person to reveal this personal information. Other scams involve fraudulent transactions, such as auto auctions and real estate scams. Still even more scams involve a person impersonating another individual to target vulnerable target consumers and tugging at their heartstrings in order to get them to send money for fabricated hardships.

Some internet crimes may be difficult to prove, as they often involve multiple levels of cyber-security and may require intensive forensic computer analysis to prove the alleged perpetrator's identity and actual commission of the alleged offense. In many cases, multiple parties are involved; tracking complex financial transactions and tying them to the alleged fraud tends to be complicated.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have made targeting internet crimes a very high priority and they will not hesitate to use their full power and authority to bring serious felony charges against internet fraud perpetrators. People who are convicted of identity theft and internet crimes may face serious prison time for both state and federal financial crimes, so people accused of these complex crimes need the help of an experienced defense attorney to help them present the best defense possible.

Source: FBI, "Internet Crime Report 2013," accessed Oct. 15, 2014

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