What is Internet Crime?

Internet crime refers to any type of illegal activity conducted over the Internet. Child pornography, identity theft, credit card fraud, Internet scams, fraud, human trafficking, prostitution, and cyberstalking are some examples of crimes committed over the Internet. If you’re wondering how Internet and cybercrime differ, they’re strongly linked; in many cases, they are the same thing. Common types of Internet crime:

  • Ransomware attacks
  • Child pornography
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card and debit card fraud
  • Financial extortion
  • Personal data hacking
  • Spreading viruses
  • Computer and network intrusions

Which government agency investigates the perpetrators of Internet crime, the cybercriminals? It’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which says this about cybercrime, “The threat is incredibly serious – and growing. Cyber intrusions are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous, and more sophisticated.” Today, the FBI has a Cyber Division at the FBI Headquarters. The agency also has “specially trained cyber squads at FBI headquarters” and in each of its 56 field offices, according to the FBI’s website. The FBI’s cyber squads investigate online fraud, child pornography, theft of personal information, computer intrusions, and theft of intellectual property. The FBI also has 93 Computer Crimes Task Forces, which are located throughout the nation to combat Internet crime. To learn more about the FBI’s war on cybercrime, read this brochure entitled “Addressing Threats to the Nation’s Cybersecurity.

Are Internet Crimes Federal in Nature?

As a general rule, cybercrimes or “Internet crimes” are typically criminalized under federal law because the Internet is involved and the crime is interstate in nature, or because a certain financial institution is involved; for example, one that is FDIC insured. For details, see the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act under 18 U.S. Code § 1030. Are you facing state or federal criminal charges for an Internet crime in Plano or Dallas? If so, contact our firm immediately to schedule a confidential consultation. Our experienced defense team stands ready to fight your charges.

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