Computer Crime and Internet Fraud

Rising threat of Computer Crime and Internet Fraud

Computer crime and internet fraud, sometimes called cybercrime, has increased in recent years with criminals operating ever more complex and advanced scams and deceptions.

A survey carried out between May and August 2015 by the Office for National Statistics found that there were an estimated 2.5 million incidents of crime in England and Wales falling under The Computer Misuse Act during the previous 12 months. The most common occurrence was where a victim’s computer was infected by a virus. The total also includes incidents where email or social media accounts were hacked.

Cybercrimes include: ‘phishing’, where criminals obtain a victim’s personal details to enable them to fraudulently obtain money or steal this directly from bank accounts; putting ‘malware’ or viruses on to computers and then demanding money for removing them; identity theft; ‘hacking’, or obtaining illegal or unauthorised access to online systems and accounts; and, using counterfeit or unlicensed software.

If the offence committed relates to fraudulent or dishonest activity then offenders can be prosecuted under legislation such as the Fraud Act, the Trade marks Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act.

Many cybercriminals are opportunistic confidence tricksters who may try to obtain personal information and details of bank accounts over the phone or via email. Criminal gangs often work together to organise more sophisticated corporate espionage.

As technology advances there will always be new ways for criminals to commit fraud online, but the methods of investigating computer fraud are also advancing allowing the authorities to keep up.

Internet fraud and computer crime can often be complicated by the inclusion of an element of international law, with many perpetrators or gang members based outside the UK.

How we can help?

Our team at Else Solicitors has experience of dealing with cybercrimes and can help you if you have been a victim of computer-based fraud. We can call on technical experts to complete a detailed analysis of the available evidence. Call us today on 01283 526200 or email us and we can call back at a time convenient to you.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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