Wire fraud is a broad criminal law category. Wire fraud can encompass almost any kind of telecommunication, including the Internet. Wire fraud can be committed by use of text messages, all social media, and telephone calls. According to Cornell Law School, “Wire fraud occurs when interstate wirings are used in furtherance of a criminal act.” Furthermore, the following elements need to occur:
- There must be a scheme to defraud others.
- The scheme either involves omissions or false statements.
- The result of the scheme would be a loss of property or money.
- Interstate wiring must be used to further the scheme.
- A defendant caused interstate wiring to be used.
Top Scams That Can Involve Wire Fraud
- A person receives a telephone call from someone who claims they represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA). The caller tries to entice the victim to remit a fictitious debt or a supposed overpayment. The caller sometimes claims that payment must be made immediately to avoid arrest. The caller requests bank account and/or credit card information from the victim.
- A person receives an official-looking email from a known company like PayPal or AT&T, for example. The email claims that fraud has been detected and directs the recipient to click on a button that takes them to a fake site. The fake site looks real, and victims are instructed to enter financial information.
- A person receives an urgent phone call supposedly from a grandchild. The caller claims they have an emergency and need money quickly. Or, the caller may claim they are an attorney representing a loved one and that funds are needed to keep the loved one out of jail. The term “elder fraud” pertains to these cases as the elderly may act impulsively or might not believe that a caller would lie to them.
- A person searching for an apartment rental in a different city sees a residence with a monthly rental price that looks too good to be true. The person feels they need to move quickly to secure the rental deal, so they send funds. The person who receives the funds, however, is not the apartment owner and the victim loses their money.
- A person signs up for a work-at-home job. The supposed (fake) employer sends a cashier’s check to cover office supplies. A check arrives in excess of the amount mentioned. The fake employer contacts the victim, explains that the check amount was issued for an incorrect amount, and asks the victim to wire the overpayment. Unfortunately, the cashier’s check was forged and will not clear the bank. The scammer can withdraw wired funds immediately, so the victim’s money disappears.
Get Legal Help
If you are charged with wire fraud, the consequences can be dire. Maybe you entered into a situation you didn’t understand or were enticed by a friend who claimed you could pick up some quick and easy cash.
Regardless of the reason you got involved, if you need representation for a criminal charge in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help. When you need an attorney experience matters, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at Glasgow & Olsson today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.