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Common examples of computer crimes

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Firm News |

People use computers for practically anything these days. It ranges from ordering a meal, sending an email, watching YouTube, researching, or booking plane tickets. So it should not be surprising that computers also lead to accusations of committing crimes. There are common scams where people attempt to gain access to others’ credit cards using email or sharing protected information, transferring funds, or misrepresenting themselves somehow.

Defining a computer crime

There is a wide variety of computer crimes, so rather than update a growing list of criminal acts, Colorado criminal code defines certain actions involving a computer, digital-based system or digital network as illegal:

  • Access: This can involve accessing a computer that isn’t yours or exceeding authorized access on the computer.
  • Intent: It is illegal to intentionally commit theft, defraud or create a scheme to defraud.
  • False pretenses: This includes using a computer to misrepresent oneself to obtain money, information, services, passwords or other information accessed by a computer.
  • Illegal transmission: Computers are great for sharing data and information, but sharing information can also be unlawful. This includes profiting from sharing privately owned software, music, company secrets, personal information, as well as employing tech tools, malware or viruses to cause damage to individuals or businesses.

Charges can be serious

Computer theft here in Colorado will vary depending upon the magnitude of the theft or damage. For example, a Class 2 felony involves at least $1 million, while a class 1 petty offense involves less than $50. Considering how easy it is to escalate fraudulent online schemes quickly, the charges quickly add up.

It is always best to fight the charges

As with facing any criminal charges, defendants are innocent until proven guilty, so it is generally in the defendant’s best interests to fight any charges. Ideally, this leads to innocence and a clearing of your criminal record, but fighting charges also can help ensure that they fit the circumstances of the crimes and not more.