When talking about internet crime, only a few offenses typically make the headlines. Many of us are aware of the more common crimes such as downloading music, movies, and videos without consent, but what else is happening online that is landing people behind bars?
The truth is a lot, actually. All over the world, there are people using the internet to commit an array of crimes, some of which many people didn’t even know were possible. Before you find yourself cashing in on the “hottest new way to make a quick buck,” check out our list of six of the most common internet crimes and the sentences that may come along with them.
When it comes to prostitution, the first thought for many is finding an individual outside of a rundown Motel 6, who approaches your vehicle to offer a “service.” In this day and age, with technology as prevalent as it is, prostitution has taken a different form.
Self-proclaimed pimps are using the internet to avoid police detection through social media, “dark web” sites, mobile apps, and even mainstream sites such as Craigslist. This new found technology has reshaped the way that prostitution is solicited, with an estimated 80% of all sex sales now taking place online.
With law enforcement catching on to this trend, they are cracking down on the content seen on more mainstream sites, such as Craigslist. However, this doesn’t seem to be stopping these “pimps” from posting, they just do so deceptively. Their “services” will often be hidden as a massage or date, to avoid the legal penalties of prostitution.
There is plenty of information about us online that we have given to numerous sites. Whether it’s basic information, such as your name, or more confidential information, such as your social security number or credit card, when we input this information we expect it to be stored safely. What happens when this information becomes public?
There are ways for an individual to access stored information and use it for financial gain or malicious purposes. This is known as a data breach and is a very common form of online fraud.
Another form of online fraud is phishing:
Phishing - This is when an individual sends an email pretending to be an established business in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting target into providing sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. In the email will be a link to a site that was created to resemble the business they are imitating, in which the “Phisher” will receive your information.
Non-Delivery of Merchandise
You find a new website that has great deals and you think to yourself, “This is too good to be true…but the website looks legitimate and that price, oh that discounted price, I just have to.” Checkout complete.
Flash forward to 2 months later, you’re still waiting on that hat you ordered for $4.99. You reach out to the websites customer service numerous times, only to receive no response. If this situation sounds all too familiar, you may have been involved in a non-delivery of merchandise scheme.
A non-delivery of merchandise is when a seller on a website accepts payment for an item they never intend to actually send.
Harassment has been around for some time now and it comes in many forms. Perhaps the most prevalent form in this day and age is online harassment and bullying. In a cyberworld that allows you to be whoever you want, comes the ability to harass and bully others without being seen—or has it?
This new form of harassment is considered by many to be more intimidating than physical violence. Whether it’s sexual harassment online or cyberbullying, harassing others online can come with serious consequences.
Misdemeanor and felony forms of harassment are recognized by states. In many states, punishment for first-time harassment is a misdemeanor, but subsequent harassment convictions are punished as felonies.
Child pornography can be broken down into 2 different categories:
This is when there is digitally generated content, such as photos or videos of a minor being seen in an explicit way. This category of child pornography is most commonly seen amongst teens who had sent explicit photos before being of legal age to do so.
Many teens don’t even realize that having explicit photos of their significant other who is underage is considered child pornography. This is where a lot of controversy and differences in state law comes into play.
Different from simulated child pornography, direct involvement is when the individual is directly involved in the pornography of the minor. The production of child pornography typically includes other charges, such as child abuse and rape.
Were You Wrongfully Convicted?
Being accused of a felony or misdemeanor can negatively impact the rest of your life. At The ABT Law Firm, we believe that each and every client is innocent until proven guilty. If you’ve been wrongly convicted of an internet crime we would love to hear from you. Our qualified criminal defense attorneys are committed to doing everything they can to get you the best possible outcome.
Call (678) 582-2272 today to schedule your free evaluation.