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What Are The Penalties For A Phishing Scam?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

san jose defense lawyerThe Alameda County’s district attorney’s office is warning the public that pandemic-related phishing scams are on the rise. According to the statement, the bad actors are sending out unsolicited emails regarding COVID-19. These emails direct you to open a link but when you do, it collects your personal information or installs malware on your computer. 

The district attorney’s office says the way the phishing scam works is you will receive an email that sounds official. In this case, it might be asking for proof of a COVID vaccination, requesting information from a fake health organization, or offering medical advice. 

Phishing emails are usually hastily prepared or contain minor changes from something an official organization might send out. Therefore, they suggest paying close attention to domain names and checking spelling or grammatical errors. 

Now that you know how an email phishing scam operates, it is also important to know the consequences of conducting one. 

Phishing is Fraud

Phishing is a type of fraud that varies depending on the information you obtain. If you steal credit card information, it could be considered credit card fraud, or if you steal personal information, it could be considered identity theft. Additionally, if you run a phishing scam on a person in another state, it could become a federal matter punishable by severe consequences. 

According to the California Penal Code, identity theft occurs when an individual uses another person’s financial or personal information. In a phishing scam, information is usually obtained through a phishing email. Identity theft may involve the acquisition of information through legal or fraudulent means. Identity theft also involves using the information for some type of benefit or malice toward the victim. 

Phishing or identity theft may be considered a misdemeanor or felony offenses depending on the circumstances. The severity of the offense is determined by the amount of money stolen or the type of victim. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A felony conviction, on the other hand, could result in up to three years in either prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Additionally, California’s ​​Anti-Phishing Act allows victims to sue you to recover damages through the civil court system. 

Contact a Fremont Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you have been arrested for operating a phishing scam or some other fraudulent activity, contact an experienced Alameda County criminal defense attorney who specializes in white-collar crimes. Attorney Cory Fuller has been helping defendants navigate complex cases like identity theft and credit card fraud for more than 15 years. Call his office at 408-234-7563 for a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.alcoda.org/newsroom/2021/aug/covid_related_phishing

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&division=&title=13.&part=1.&chapter=5.&article=

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=530.5&highlight=true&lawCode=PEN&keyword=phishing

 

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=BPC&division=8.&title=&part=&chapter=33.&article=

 

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