Wire fraud is an attempt to defraud using electronic means such as a computer or telephone. Since the advent of the internet, thousands of crimes have been included in the definition of wire fraud. What must be proven is that the person knowingly and willfully designed or intended to carry out the scheme of deception. Common forms of online fraud, why they happen, and how to protect yourself.
Electronic fraud in banking
While security has certainly been strengthened over the years, banks continue to fall victim to electronic communications fraud, costing them millions of dollars or more each year. Insiders who forge documents that transfer money to offshore accounts often perpetuate the scam. It can happen in other familiar ways over the internet, through fraudulent activities such as stolen identities, credit card numbers, and hacked online bank accounts since banks constantly transfer large amounts of money between accounts and vice versa.
Bank fraud is a crime that has existed since the banks themselves. Whenever there is a large amount of money in circulation, people will figure out how to get to it. Bank fraud is the attempt to improperly obtain money or property from a federally insured financial institution. Bank fraud is punishable even by death as a way used to prevent wire fraud.
The internet is a scammer’s paradise. There are many other forms of wire fraud that can take place on the Internet. Here are some common ones:
Email phishing. It sends fake emails that appear legitimate to steal passwords, credit card numbers, or personal information.
Identity theft. Usually done by people who create websites that appear legitimate and are designed to trick users into providing personal information, similar to when applying for a loan or insurance. Other methods may include hacking into databases containing business information or hacking into a personal hard drive to steal personal information.
Fraudulent business sales. It is a common scam targeting web admins and potential investors. When evaluating an Internet business, a website’s revenue, traffic, and potential future value are used to estimate value. By spoofing revenue and traffic, a scammer can inflate the purported value of the website, sometimes scamming victims out of thousands of dollars.
Any time people can manage large sums of money, and there is an opportunity for fraud, there is always a serious threat. While computer monitoring and increased security certainly deter fraudulent activity, the threat still exists, and insider fraud occurs regularly. Banks and financial institutions constantly update their security system to prevent internal fraud.