There has been an incredible increase in the use of the Internet to commit crimes, or cybercrime, on a worldwide level. According to the FBI, there are a number of offenses that are committed more than others and they include computer intrusion, piracy, online predators, and fraud. If a person is convicted, the penalties are harsh. If the crime is committed on a federal level, the penalties are even harsher. Here are some examples of Internet crimes:
- Credit card fraud: Credit card numbers are stolen so the account can be used by the thieves to make purchases.
- Business fraud: “Business fraud” is the term frequently used to describe white collar crimes. Internet business fraud is a good example of this type of fraud because individuals will establish falsified businesses to make a profit.
- Internet auction fraud: Auctioning off an item and not delivering the item as promised in the specified condition or not delivering it at all is considered fraud.
- Non-delivery of merchandise or payment: This crime occurs when a monetary transaction is carried out online, but the merchandise is never delivered or vice versa. This can happen on both ends of the transaction – the payer and the payee. This accounts for almost 20% of the crimes committed on the Internet.
- Sex crimes: Possessing and/or distributing child pornography, as well as the sexual enticement of an underage individual over the Internet are serious crimes.
- Cyberstalking: Some will use the Internet to stalk an individual or an organization. This is obsessive behavior that is harassing in nature. When the Internet is used for this, it is considered an Internet crime. A person may even use the Internet to threaten rape or violence. In some cases, the defendant allegedly posted the personal information of the victim online.