Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,The holidays are just around the corner, and people are now starting to plan their holiday shopping strategies. Since shopping has become much more popular on the Internet, many people are resorting to purchasing their holiday gifts online. This has become so common, that people are not always aware of what could be at stake with their credit card. Far too often credit cards are compromised because of hacking activities on the other side. There are many people affected by credit card fraud, and the numbers keep increasing with the massive use of the Internet.

“Friendly Fraud” and Its Consequences

Also called a chargeback, friendly fraud happens when a consumer purchases a product online or on the phone and he or she receives the product ordered, plus a refund from that person’s bank. Since people receiving refunds from their bank tend to use that money with no thought about being scammed, friendly fraud has grown significantly.

One of the biggest consequences of friendly fraud is that businesses and credit card companies tend to lose a lot of money from the “refunds.” Not only does friendly fraud do much damage to merchants and credit card companies, friendly fraud can cause the receiver’s credit score to go down, and he or she may end up spending more than necessary on that item.

What Investigations Are Done on Friendly Fraud?

With today’s technology, banks are now often able to block payments and switch the chargeback over to the merchant, so that they do not lose as much money. However, investigating the friendly fraud scheme may take a long time, as the whole process is often quite tedious and labor intensive. Because of this, many merchants and credit card companies do not bother investigating the scheme.

Contact a Chicago Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer

Being able to use the Internet to steal other shoppers’ information may seem like a way to learn how to go online like an expert, but it will always get you into serious trouble. No one wants to spend time in prison during the holidays or spend more money than necessary in restitution.

If you or a loved one has been accused of committing credit card fraud, contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. Attorney Garfinkel has many years of experience in the federal crimes practice, and he is always ready to help you win the best case results. For a free initial consultation, please call a Chicago criminal defense attorney at 312-629-0669 to get the help you deserve.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/friendly-fraud-an-enemy-to-everyone-in-the-e-commerce-chain/

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drug-chargesIn Illinois and the United States, drugs have always been a societal problem. Even though drugs still negatively affect many lives today, there has been a massive change in the use of drugs over the past several years. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there has been a sharp increase in drug seizures for certain types of drugs, and a decrease in other types.

Overview of Drug Arrests in the United States

The number of arrests made for the use of drugs has slightly increased from 2006 to 2015. As of now, there is no supporting data for the years 2016 and 2017. For the years 2007 and 2008, the number of arrests has decreased, but then the number has gone up in 2009 and has stayed around the same number.

  • In 2006, there was a total of 30,691 arrests for drug use;
  • In 2008, there were 28,607 arrests;
  • In 2011, there was a total of 32,530 arrests; and
  • In 2015, there were 31,027 arrests for drug use.

From the years 2006 to 2015, the number of arrests made for drug use has stayed about the same. There would be some slight decrease in the number and then some increase, but there was really not much change in the number of arrests.

Drug Seizures in 2005

In the 2000’s, drugs were a major problem in the United States. Even though the drug usage remains an adversity to society, there have been several increases and decreases in the type of drugs that have been seized.

  • 118,128 kilograms of cocaine were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • 622 kilograms of heroin were seized;
  • 283,382 kilograms of marijuana were reported;
  • 2,161 kilograms of methamphetamines were seized; and
  • 8,868,465 dosage units of hallucinogens were seized by the DEA.

Drug Seizures in 2014

There was an increase in the seizure of heroin and methamphetamines in 2014 from 2010. However, there was a massive decrease in the seizure of cocaine, marijuana, and hallucinogens in the same time frame.

  • 33,770 kilograms of cocaine were reported;
  • 1,020 kilograms of heroin were confiscated by the DEA;
  • 74,225 kilograms of marijuana were seized;
  • 2,946 kilograms of methamphetamines were confiscated; and
  • 48,970 dosage units of hallucinogens were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

At the time that this report was created, the 2014 statistics were considered preliminary and subject to updating. This is just a brief overview of the number of drug seizures thus far.

Contact a Chicago Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Drugs often account for the change in many people’s quality of life. Whatever the reason for the drug use, there are many serious consequences that the user may face, such as massive fines and several years behind bars. If you or a loved one has been accused of a drug crime, the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel will help you fight the legal battle. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call a Chicago criminal defense attorney at 312-629-0669 to get the help you deserve.

 Sources:

https://www.dea.gov/resource-center/statistics.shtml

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Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Over the past few years, hate crimes have been considered one of the biggest issues faced by society and have been a major topic on social media. There are several different forms of hate crimes that can be committed, as many different groups may be targeted. Nevertheless, the act of committing a hate crime is very serious, leading to many unwanted penalties.

Hate Crime Statistics

A hate crime is defined as when a specific demographic is selected as a target for certain types of crimes. The demographics could include people of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.

In 2011, there were 6,222 hate crime incidents reported, with almost 21 percent of those crimes motivated by sexual orientation. Even though marriage within the LGBT community has been made legal for over two years, the discrimination of community members remains a problem in the present day.

Here are a few more statistics of past hate crimes based on sexual orientation:

  • In 2011, a total of 1,572 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were reported;
  • 56.7 percent of those hate crimes came from an anti-male homosexual conspiracy;
  • 29.6 percent came from a conspiracy that was against the homosexual community;
  • 11.1 percent came from an anti-female homosexual conspiracy;
  • 1.5 percent came from a conspiracy against the anti-bisexual community; and
  • 1.2 percent came from an anti-heterosexual conspiracy.

There is no data after 2011, and the reports reflect only those hate crimes pertaining to sexual orientation.

Consequences of Hate Crimes

If a person commits a hate crime, then he or she will be charged with a Class 4 felony for the first offense. If the same crime is committed a second or subsequent time, then the offender will face a Class 2 felony.

When the person commits a hate crime in a religious institution, a cemetery, an educational facility, a public park, an ethnic community center, or real property, then he or she will be charged with a Class 3 felony. A Class 2 felony will be charged against the person if the crime has been committed a second or subsequent time.

The person committing the crime may also need to pay a fine of up to $1,000, or pay restitution to the group affected by the hate crime. Probation may also be ordered after conviction, or the person committing the hate crime may have to perform no less than 200 hours of community or public service, as long as the service project is established in the county where the hate crime occurred.

Call a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer

Nobody wants to spend the rest of their life behind bars for a crime that could easily have been prevented. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a hate crime, you do not have to fight the legal battle alone.

At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, you know that you will get the best client experience possible, and a great opportunity to win the best case results. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call an experienced Chicago hate crime defense lawyer at 312-629-0669 to get the help you deserve.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050k12-7.1.htm

http://www.equalityillinois.us/issue/hate-crimes-violence/

 

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Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Many people have heard of the word “phishing” before, but not a lot of people fully understand what the term means. Phishing is a federal crime that can and will come with serious consequences, and action must be taken if you or a loved one has been accused of this offense. The crime is a form of identity theft that can change the person’s quality of life in a negative manner.

What Constitutes as Phishing?

Phishing is defined as the act of posing as a true and legitimate company or government agency in an email, Web page, or other means of Internet communication. The “company” will do this to get the recipient of the message to offer his or her personal information. The information that the “company” may go after may include the following:

  • Social security number;
  • Driver’s license number;
  • Bank account number;
  • Credit card or debit card number;
  • Personal identification number;
  • Account password; and
  • Personal signature.

Consequences of Phishing

Phishing is a very serious crime on the federal level, and it can bring to the offender a variety of negatively life-changing consequences. If a person is caught committing the crime of phishing, then he or she can expect to pay up to $500,000 in damages to a business affected by the crime. If the phishing crime affected only one or two people, then the offender may be expected to pay at least three times the amount of damages or $5,000 for each violation.

Real Life Example

In August 2017, there was a computer phishing scam that affected computer users from the University of Illinois. It is unclear which campus was affected, but the scam was an attempt to steal banking passwords and other information, with the scam going as far as Ohio.

The first message from the phishing scam indicated, in an email, that a large payment had been authorized, therefore spreading a virus to the user’s computer and read all personal information. The “banking Trojan” was a fax attachment in another round of emails in the phishing scam that was used to steal passwords. The malware attachment had eventually been disabled and block so no one else would be affected by the phishing scam. According to those who were affected by the scam stated that the emails came from what seemed to be a legitimate sender with an illinois.edu address, the domain for the University of Illinois.

Call a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer

Nobody wants to spend years behind bars for a crime they didn’t do. If you or a loved one has been accused of phishing, you do not have to fight the legal battle alone. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, you know that you will get the best client experience possible, and a great opportunity to win the best case results. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call an experienced Chicago phishing defense attorney at 312-629-0669 to get the help you deserve.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2921&ChapAct=740%26nbsp%3BILCS%

https://www.idtheftcenter.org/images/states/Illinois.pdf

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-il–u-of-illinois-phishing-20170824-story.html

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