Phishing, Consequences, and Real Examples

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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