blog Criminal Defense The FBI Has Colorado on Its Radar for Internet Crimes

The FBI Has Colorado on Its Radar for Internet Crimes

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on January 3, 2022

Internet crimes are on the rise in Colorado and across the nation. The CBI and FBI are focused on identifying, arresting, and charging any individual engaging in cybercrime. An FBI report reveals that in 2020, the total number of complaints increased to 791,790, almost 350,000 more than the prior year, leading to $4.2 billion in losses – about 2,000 complaints every day. 2020 was the worst year on record for internet crimes, many of which originated in Colorado. FBI agents on the cybercrime task force are hard at work in the state – and ready to arrest and charge any person they believe is committing internet crimes.

Most Common Internet Crimes

The report outlines the most common internet crimes in the past five years:

  • Phishing: Sending emails that appear to be from a legitimate source to induce the recipient to reveal personal information, such as credit card numbers or other data that could be used for illegal actions.
  • Smishing: Fraudulent texts purporting to be from a legitimate source to induce the recipient to reveal personal information.
  • Pharming: The practice of installing a malicious code through an email. The email installs a virus or “Trojan” in the user’s digital device. The code alters the computer’s host to redirect traffic intended for a business, bank, or other recipient to a fraudulent website, where confidential information is harvested.
  • Non-payment, non-delivery: These schemes involve selling items in an online auction of some type, collecting the money, and never delivering the item to the purchaser.
  • Extortion: This crime involves threatening to disable the digital systems of a targeted victim unless money is paid (ransomware).
  • Personal data breach: A data breach can involve stealing confidential personal information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security number, bank account information, health information, passwords, or email.
  • Identity theft: Identity theft involves using the personal information of the victim to commit fraud, such as taking bank loans, credit cards, with the use of advanced spyware.

Colorado and Internet Crimes – Where Our State Ranks.

Colorado has been identified as a hotspot for internet crimes, and the FBI ranks the state as one of the worst in the nation, at number 10 for financial losses related to internet crimes, and number 17 in the number of victims of these crimes.

Charged with Internet Crime?

If you are accused of an internet crime, you may be charged in both state and federal court. Internet crimes are usually very complex cases involving computer data. Not every criminal attorney is familiar with the defense strategies that could be successful for the accused.

With recent internet crimes related to COVID-19 scams, BEC (business email compromise), spoofing, romance frauds, credit card fraud, lottery, sweepstakes, or inheritance fraud, impersonating a government employee (IRS, SS, etc.), and investment frauds were also committed at staggering rates. If you are facing criminal charges in Summit County for one of these crimes, your first step is to ensure you have legal representation to protect your rights. If you become aware that you are under investigation for an internet crime, exercise your right to remain silent, and your right to a Breckenridge criminal defense attorney.

Penalties for Internet Crimes in Colorado

The penalties imposed will reflect the value of the losses experienced by the victim. Losses between $2,000 to $5,000 will be filed as a Class 6 felony, with up to 18 months in state prison, and fines up to $100,000. For losses between $5,000 to $20,000, the crime is filed as a Class 5 felony, with penalties including up to 3 years in state prison, and up to $100,000 in fines. For losses between $20,000 and $100,000, the crime is a Class 4 felony, with penalties up to 5 years in state prison and up to $500,000 in fines.

Your Criminal Lawyer – Quality and Experience Matter.

At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, our legal team is made up of two highly-skilled trial attorneys, both of whom have served as prosecutors. Our trial experience, knowledge of the court system from both sides, and our case preparation and presentation in court is truly professional, and far above the average. When we take on a case, we do everything legally possible to achieve the most positive outcome.

Contact us today at (970) 368-0602 for a free case consultation.

Posted in: Criminal Defense