Computer and Internet fraudrefers to the perpetration of fraud through the use of a computer or the Internet. A common form of this fraud is “hacking,” in which a criminal uses sophisticated technological tools to remotely access a computer containing sensitive information. Another form of this fraud involves illegally intercepting an electronic transmission. This may result in the theft of someone’s password, credit card information, or identity.
Federal statute defines computer fraud as the use of a computer to create a dishonest misrepresentation of fact in an effort to induce another to do or refrain from doing something that causes loss. Criminals are able to create fraudulent misrepresentation in a number of ways. They can alter computer input in an unauthorized fashion. They can alter or delete stored data. Sophisticated criminals can rewrite software codes and upload them into a bank’s mainframe so that the bank will provide its users’ identities to the thieves. This gives the thieves the opportunity to use this information to make unauthorized credit card purchases.
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