What is online fraud?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2022 | White Collar Crimes |

The internet provides access to endless information, while also allowing loved ones to keep in touch, no matter where they are in the world. The internet is also home to online fraud, a crime that can carry numerous penalties.

Being aware of the exact definitions of internet fraud can help you avoid legal issues. It can also help defend your rights in the event law enforcement violates them. Here are a few different forms of online fraud and what they entail.


Malware is malicious software and programs that can cause major harm to computer networks. In some cases, malware disrupts the function of computer networks. In others, it seeks out sensitive information for financial gain. In either case, it is illegal to intentionally infect a person’s computer with malware.


Phishing is often associated with email scams. For example, a person may create a message that purposefully mimics a business or organization and send it to a recipient. These messages can contain links or downloads containing malware or computer viruses.

Data breaches

Businesses and individuals store sensitive personal information on the internet for convenient access. This information is private and unauthorized individuals are not allowed to obtain it illegally. If so, they can receive jail time and fines, in addition to paying restitution to the victim of the breach.

Credit card fraud

Data breaches can also involve sensitive financial info, such as credit card numbers. Using these numbers to purchase goods online or to withdraw money falls into the category of credit card fraud. If a person receives a number via nefarious means or does not have the authorization to use it from the account holder, a charge of credit card fraud can occur.