The internet makes it easier than ever for people to share information and connect with one another, which also means it is easier than ever for people to commit crimes. There are numerous ways for someone to run afoul of internet laws in modern society, ranging from downloading the wrong kinds of materials to making overt threats against someone online.
Cyber crimes can lead to real-world consequences for those accused of digital misconduct. Although people often think of the internet as an unregulated space where anything goes, the behavior someone engages in online could lead to criminal prosecution or civil litigation depending on the circumstances.
What is the most common kind of cyber crime currently occurring on the internet?
Phishing is the most common digital offense
Based on the reports that people make regarding their victimization online, one type of offense is a more serious concern than many others. Phishing, which involves sending out emails soliciting people’s personal identifying information or financial details, often leads to identity theft or hacking incidents.
While you may think that phishing is rare and quite technical, it is surprisingly common. Phishing is by far the most common cyber crime reported in 2020, with 241,342 reported cases according to the United States Internet Crime Complaint Center. That is more than double the next-most-common cyber crime, which is non-payment or non-delivery fraud, with less than 110,000 cases reported.
You could find yourself accused of phishing if an e-mail address or internet account registered in your name contact people to ask for their information.
Those accused of phishing are often victims of hacking themselves
Someone trying to commit an untraceable crime on the internet isn’t about to use their own social media account or email address to reach out to strangers and ask for their personal information. Instead, they will likely try to gain access to other people’s accounts.
Learning about a police investigation or getting arrested may have been the first time you even thought about phishing other than when you delete those annoying emails from your inbox. You may end up arrested for an offense committed by someone else entirely.
Cyber crimes often require an understanding of the law and investment in forensic assistance to prove that you played no role in the alleged offense. Learning more details about what led to allegations of cyber crimes against you and help you prepare to defend yourself in court.