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What is computer fraud?

Ohio residents, like their counterparts across the country, use their computers for practically every thing, from running their business to ordering their groceries. With so much information out there on the Internet and the use so rampant, it is inevitable that crimes related to computers also pop-up. But not all computer crimes are the same and when someone finds themselves facing white-collar criminal charges related to computer fraud, it is important to understand what the charges are so one can defend themselves accordingly.

Phishing is perhaps the most common form of computer fraud. It involves sending an email asking for someone's personal bank account information while misguiding him or her as to the use of the information. The email typically includes a link to a website where the alleged phisher asks for the relevant data.

The Trojan Horse scam involves sending an email as well, but this time there is an attachment to the email. The email usually is disguised as being sent from someone the receiver is aware of, such as a business or a relative, and once the email is downloaded and attachment opened, a virus is unleashed on the computer. The virus could either ruin the whole computer system or collect personal data for identity theft. It could also be the first step to hacking, whereby the computer network is broken into to either steal data or corrupt the system.

Someone may unknowingly open a corrupted email on another person's computer or unwittingly forward an email with dubious attachments. As a result, they could end up facing white-collar criminal charges for computer fraud. Since the crime is on the rise, prosecutors are beginning to deal with them seriously, in terms of fines and punishments. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced defense attorney to understand how to protect one's rights.

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