Mail and wire fraud are crimes in violation of federal law due to their use of the U.S. Postal Service or interstate methods of communication, such as through text, email, the internet, or phone. These are offenses in which some type of scheme has been created to defraud others. This type of fraud can involve a variety of schemes and activities, all with the intent to deprive others of assets or property through deceit or dishonesty. A random example of the many, many examples of mail and wire fraud include things like sending fake invoices, running crooked online auctions, or even something as simple as stealing from a neighbor’s mailbox to find checks or prescriptions or credit cards offers and the like.
Examples of mail fraud involve fraudulently misrepresenting the U.S. postal service or other carriers and can include investment scams, charity donation scams, claims of owing taxes, loan scams, and more.
Examples of wire fraud can include internet scams, what is known as “phishing” to mass email accounts, and telemarketing scams targeting individuals for the purpose of identity theft or the misappropriation of credit card or banking information. Wire fraud can also target businesses as well as government agencies, such as the IRS. In cases where an individual or group attempts to commit mail or wire fraud without success, “attempted wire fraud” or “conspiracy” to commit this offense may be charged.
Federal mail and wire fraud carry decades in a federal prison, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for companies or groups along with restitution to victims and probation. In the case of wire fraud, you can face a separate charge for each single act committed resulting in multiple charges and penalties. These penalties are only the beginning and are often prosecuted in conjunction with other white-collar crimes.
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