Internet Crime

If you are facing charges related to child pornography, working closely with an attorney who will explain your rights and options can help you make decisions that are in your best interests. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Internet crime attorney.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Crime

Q: Is spam illegal?

A: Some types of spam (unsolicited, typically commercial email) may violate state or federal law. The federal Can-Spam Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003) regulates commercial email. It prohibits certain deceptive practices and requires that commercial emails contain a way for recipients to opt-out of receiving emails in the future. Some states also have laws on spam.

Q: If I install filtering software on our home computer, is that enough to protect my kids?

A: While protective software is a start, it is only a first step. Your children can access computers from locations outside the home, and filtering software is not 100 percent effective. Speak with your children about the dangers of the Internet and make sure they know what to do in difficult or dangerous situations.

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Internet Crime - An Overview

The advent of the Internet has led the world to a new era of technological advancement. Through online communication, it is possible for people across the country — and the world — to connect like never before. With all the positive effects, though, there are several negatives, including computer-related crimes like child pornography, intellectual property infringement, fraud and identity theft. These crimes all come with serious penalties, including fines and possible jail time. If you are facing charges of Internet crimes, including possession of child pornography or soliciting sex from a minor, contact Hertz Schram PC in Bloomfield Hills, MI, to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

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Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when a person steals someone else's personal information and uses it to acquire loans, credit cards, automobiles and other items. The thief may even use the victim's identity to secure employment or avoid criminal charges. The information that perpetrators of identity theft seek includes Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, bank account information and credit card information. Over the past decades and with the growth of the Internet, identity theft has become an increasingly visible problem. Law enforcement, prosecutors and legislators have focused numerous resources on combating identity theft.

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Child Pornography

The Internet has become a common means for the distribution of child pornography. Child pornography is illegal virtually everywhere in the world, and numerous law enforcement agencies have made it a priority. This means that cases are investigated and prosecuted aggressively.

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4-1-9 Scams and Advance Fee Fraud

Many people who have email accounts have received a message promising a fabulous sum of money in return for assisting in the transfer of funds out of a country, usually Nigeria. Numerous businesses have also received faxes making similar offers. These proposals are part of a fraudulent scheme called a "4-1-9 scam"; it is named after the section of the Nigerian criminal code dealing with such fraud.

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Solicitation of a Minor on the Internet

Solicitation of minors for sexual purposes on the Internet is an issue that has grown immensely in the past decade. It is a crime that has garnered a great deal of attention; newsmagazine shows highlight "stings" of alleged sexual predators, and the government and advocacy groups widely distribute information to help parents protect their kids. The consequences of a conviction for soliciting a minor on the Internet can be very serious.

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Internet Crime Resource Links

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
A partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center
(NW3C), the IC3 processes complaints of Internet crime and refers them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Internet fraud
Strategies for avoiding Internet fraud, provided by the FBI.

NetSmartz Workshop
A program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offering interactive resources for parents, teens and kids about recognizing potential Internet risks.

Crimes against children
Information on crimes against children, Amber alerts and submitting tips to the FBI or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline.

Innocent Images
Information on Internet safety and links to parental guides and sex offender registries, provided by Innocent Images, an investigative arm of the FBI targeting exploitation of children on the Internet.

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