With the Internet being accessible to more and more Americans and people abroad, the number of reported computer-related crimes has skyrocketed in recent years.
And Jacksonville isn’t immune. There is a University of North Florida program designed to teach students about computer security, fighting off hackers and other network-related material that is cutting-edge. While stealing money used to only occur if a person walked into a bank or business, criminals can now scour the web to find portals to taking money or clone credit cards for personal use.
But when law enforcement make arrests in these types of cases, they sometimes get it wrong. Committing web-based theft or fraud in Jacksonville requires a great deal of knowledge about computers and networks, the ins and outs of Internet security and the access to commit the crime.
Experienced criminals can sometimes use another person’s computer to commit crimes, thus making it appear the owner of the computer was doing the illegal deed. A Jacksonville Computer Crimes Defense Attorney can sort through the evidence and separate the true facts from the allegations in these types of cases.
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a government-based site devoted to tracking web-based crime, Florida had the second highest number of alleged Internet crime perpetrators and the second highest number of complaints nationwide in 2010. Floridians lodged 7.9 percent of the complaints tallied nationwide in 2010.
This shows that not only are more Internet crime operations based out of Florida, but the percentage of people being attacked in these types of crimes are victimized in Florida. And because Florida law enforcement and state attorneys are on high alert because of these numbers, they sometimes are overaggressive in their approach.
In Florida in 2010, according to the agency’s annual report, there were 19,878 complaints statewide of internet crimes:
Identity theft: 20.9%
Non-delivery of merchandise or payment: 18.0%
Credit card fraud: 12.9%
Auction fraud: 8.8%
Miscellaneous consumer fraud: 7.4%
Computer fraud: 6.9%
Advanced fee fraud: 3.4%
Overpayment fraud: 3.2%
Relationship fraud: 2.3%
The report also states that 7.8 percent of the crimes cost the victims more than $10,000. A majority of the crimes — 38.5 percent, cost between $100 and $999, while 30.8 percent cost between $1,000 and $4,999. The top dollar amount involved relationship fraud and totaled $235,000, while the reported loss statewide was more than $37 million.
These crimes can be costly and when conducted across state lines can mean a prosecution in the federal court system, which makes the crimes more difficult to beat and sometimes means tougher penalties.
But an aggressive Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can be used to debunk the prosecution theory by sifting through pages and pages of records, using hired experts to disprove the alleged facts and seek a resolution that most benefits the client. These cases often require an aggressive approach in order to save the defendant from years stuck in prison.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide comprehensive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
Lab gives UNF students real-world experience with advanced computer security, by Kate Howard, The Florida Times-Union