Cybercrimes cost companies and even individuals nationwide, including Michigan, billions of dollars each year. Cybercrimes is a collective term for computer and internet crimes. The anonymity offered by the internet along with the rapid advance of technology has made unsuspecting people targets of hackers who gain remote access to their homes. This could lead to the owners of hacked personal computers to be suspected of committing or participating in cybercrimes that investigators traced back to their computers.
Anyone with a start-up cryptocurrency business in Michigan might want to take extra precautions to protect their assets. Documents that were recently filed in a federal court in another state indicates that crypto assets can easily be lost. This case involves a 23-year-old man who was recently arrested on charges of computer and internet crimes for alleged crypto theft.
People in Michigan will likely remember the 2017 case in another state in which a man and his girlfriend scammed the public with a story about a homeless man who helped the woman by giving her his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. The trio was later accused of committing computer and internet crimes when it was determined that the feel-good story they used to get people to pay $400,000 into a GoFundMe account they established for the homeless man was a scam. All three were accused of collecting the money for personal enrichment.
The United States Constitution has a Commercial Clause that provides the federal government with authority to prosecute and regulate white collar crimes. The accessibility provided by the internet makes cybercrimes some of the most frequently committed white collar crimes in Michigan and other states. Federal agencies such as the FBI, Secret Service, IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and U.S. Customs are all role players in the enforcement of legislation related to white collar crimes, which often involve computer and internet use.
Sometimes, people in Michigan and other cities nationwide get involved in a crime without even realizing that what they are doing is criminal. This is because computer and internet crimes can occur in a wide variety of circumstances. Understanding what constitutes a crime involving the use of computers and the internet can go a long ways toward avoiding legal troubles.
People in Michigan who receive emails or social media invitations to be part of a Secret Sister Gift Exchange might not realize that it is illegal. It involves an electronic chain letter that works in the same way as pyramid schemes, which are regarded as computer and internet crimes. How can such a proposal be recognized?
While it is true that one can remain anonymous online, anyone who misrepresents him- or herself might face criminal charges. In Michigan and elsewhere, misrepresentation with criminal intent could be regarded as computer and internet crimes. An example is someone who falsely claims to have the qualifications required for some fields like law and medicine. Practicing in professional fields without the necessary qualifications, giving advice and charging people for those services can lead to hefty fines and even time in prison.
Felony convictions bring penalties, and some are more severe than others are. Using a device such as a computer or a smartphone to commit crimes can lead to enhanced penalties. For that reason, anyone in Michigan who is being investigated for computer and internet crimes is best advised to seek legal counsel immediately.
In Michigan, there are penalties for every crime. However, when it comes to computer and internet crimes, there seem to be some gray areas. Cyberbullying, is typically defined as harassing or intimidating behavior on the internet, including posting threatening messages in a public forum. It is something that gives rise to concern. News headlines have reported several cases of children who committed suicide after they were the victims of such bullying.
In October 2013, California became the first state to pass a “revenge porn” law, which made the publication of sexually explicit photos or videos with the intent to threaten or blackmail another person a crime. Since then, a number of states have followed suit with varying versions of a revenge porn law.