Fraud and the Internet
Under the law, fraud is defined as an intentional misrepresentation of fact upon which the victim reasonably relies to his or her detriment. The Internet has made it infinitely easier for those with bad intent to engage in scams, but it can also put you at risk when your objectives are honest. Here are some of the common types of Internet fraud:
- Misrepresentation of goods or services—If you sell items online, you need to be certain that you clearly and accurately describe them. You also want to be sure that buyers know they are sold “as is” and that there are no warranties attached.
- Credit card fraud—This can take many forms, from unauthorized transactions to duplicate charges to overbilling.
- Failure to deliver or pay for goods
- Identity theft—Hackers have many tools to steal all kinds of personal information about you, from your Social Security number to credit or debit card information, from online passwords to bank or tax information. This information can then be used to obtain credit, goods or services under your name without authorization.
- Misrepresentation of position or authority—Fraudsters will represent themselves as FBI agents, bank officers, work-at-home companies—just about anything to get you to send them money or information.
- Overpayment fraud—One of the more prevalent fraud schemes in the last few years involves Craigslist or EBay purchasers who either offer to pay more for the goods or actually send payment for far more than the agreed upon price. Typically, they will claim a mistake and ask you to return the overpayment. A couple weeks later, you will learn that the check they sent you (it may even appear to be a cashier’s check or money order drawn on a reputable bank) is bogus, and you are left holding the bag, so to speak.
- Advance fee fraud—Far too often, when you pay an advance fee for anything on the Internet, you will never see anything in return.
Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.
At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr, we have protected the rights of people in eastern Pennsylvania for more than three decades. Contact us online or call us at (610) 565-0240 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.