What is Wire Fraud?
Wire Fraud refers to a type of crime that is committed through the use of technologically-based communication system, including: telephones, computational systems, online networks, the Internet, or electronic databases.
The term ‘Wire Fraud’ originated from the term ‘wiring’ which is innate in modern technological devices. Due to the advancements in computer technology and the increased presence of information and financial data to exist in an intangible format, the potential of Wire Fraud has increased greatly.
Those who commit wire fraud typically do so by “hacking” into an individual’s personal computer or a network of computers. Regardless of the medium, those who participate in wire fraud typically usurp personal and financial information to commit subsequent forms of fraud. The exchange of such information on a technological device is susceptible to such illegal actions; when personal or financial information is breached it can be rapidly used to purchase items, open up new accounts, or commit identity theft.
To prevent wire fraud from taking place, an individual must understand and review the implications that enshroud online transactions. When purchasing a product online for instance, a consumer must be sure that the portal used to purchase the goods is a secured site and does not allow third parties to access the personal or financial information offered. Additionally, an individual should also download or purchase various security programs, such as firewalls, to prevent a hacker or third party from acquiring personal information.
Wire Fraud vs. Fraud
Fraud encompasses any criminal act in which the intention of purposefully defrauding, deceiving or the misrepresentation of a product or service has taken place. That being said, Wire Fraud allows for anonymity of those who participate in the illegal action, regardless of the mechanism used or the medium where the fraud takes place.
The Nature of Wire Fraud
The following crimes are commonly classified as Wire Fraud:
Solicitation: Solicitation is classified as the intended recruitment of either knowing or unknowing participation in a criminal act
Identity Theft: The criminal act involving the illegal and unlawful acquiring of personal information belonging to another individual with the intent to commit a criminal act
Cyber Crime: A criminal genre in which crime is committed through the usage of computers, the Internet, or virtual networks; this can include – but is not limited to hacking, phishing, SPAM, email fraud, and online stalking
Reporting a Wire Fraud Offense
In the event that an individual has been made aware of an ongoing Wire Fraud, or has been party to a Wire Fraud that has occurred in the past, they are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense. In the event that an individual wishes to do so in an anonymous fashion, they have to opportunity to contact the appropriate government department, such as the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.