Computer and Internet fraudrefers to the perpetration of fraud through the use of a computer or the Internet. A common form of this fraud is “hacking,” in which a criminal uses sophisticated technological tools to remotely access a computer containing sensitive information. Another form of this fraud involves illegally intercepting an electronic transmission. This may result in the theft of someone’s password, credit card information, or identity.
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Federal statute defines computer fraud as the use of a computer to create a dishonest misrepresentation of fact in an effort to induce another to do or refrain from doing something that causes loss. Criminals are able to create fraudulent misrepresentation in a number of ways. They can alter computer input in an unauthorized fashion. They can alter or delete stored data. Sophisticated criminals can rewrite software codes and upload them into a bank’s mainframe so that the bank will provide its users’ identities to the thieves. This gives the thieves the opportunity to use this information to make unauthorized credit card purchases.