In the heart of Silicon Valley, we see many software and tech companies devoting substantial resources to keeping products and platforms safe for all users. Cyber threats that find a way to exploit customers or businesses can cause serious problems for everyone involved, including those who were scammed out of money or other important information.
The FBI compiles statistics on computer and internet crimes, and in a recently released report by the bureau, it revealed that in 2019, over 50,000 California residents were victims of some type of electronic theft, which is by far and away more than any other state in the country. All told, it is believed that over $40 million in losses were sustained by those who were the victims of these crimes.
The most common computer and internet crimes in the region
With computer crimes on the rise, we wanted to highlight some of the charges that we see charged most often with our clients. Some of the most common crimes include:
- Revenge porn: Posting explicit photos meant to stay private in the hopes of damaging someone’s reputation
- Identity theft: Using the identity of another person to obtain credit cards or other financial resources
- Grade hacking at schools: Students/parents log into a school’s computer system to artificially inflate grades
- False impersonation: Pretending to be someone else to cause financial or other harm to that person
These crimes can vary in the severity of the potential punishments that may be handed down in the event of a conviction. With the rise of these crimes in the area, it is likely that law enforcement will be much more aggressive when investigating suspected unlawful activity.
Many computer or internet crimes have paper trails that police will examine to determine the extent of unlawful activity. If you are questioned by investigators, know that you have rights. Even if officers act friendly and tell you that you have nothing to worry about, anything that you tell them can be used to build a case against you. You need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the situation, and never have any conversations with police or prosecutors unless you have an attorney present.