As technology advances and the world becomes more connected to the internet, the number of cybercrimes has dramatically increased. Cybercrime cases, or crimes that are committed against a person or organization through some means of technology, can be difficult to pursue. Because hackers’ skills and technology advance so quickly, knowing who is behind an attack can be difficult.
The ever-changing nature of the internet landscape also means that cybercrime cases can be punished severely. The need to deter future criminal attempts is key — but it can mean that some cybercrimes can result in a class 1 felony, the most serious category.
At Wolf Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help with your Colorado cybercrime case. If you’re dealing with an investigation of any type of cybercrime in Colorado, contact our team for a free consultation. You can reach our Denver office at 720-479-8574 or contact us online.
Common Examples of Cybercrimes
The Federal Bureau of Investigation found that internet crimes (cybercrimes) skyrocketed in 2020. There were 790,000 cybercrime complaints in 2020, a number that increased by 300,000 from 2019. The most common types of cases involved phishing scams, ransomware, and business e-mail compromise. According to reports, the losses exceeded $4.2 billion.
While some cybercrimes are well-known, others are less talked about. Regardless, there are many different types of cybercrimes that are happening on the web every day.
Online scams are a type of fraud. While it’s a newer type of fraud, you’ve likely received an email or text message at some point in your life asking you to sign in to a website disguised as your bank or some other business involving sensitive data. This type of fraud, often referred to as phishing, intends to obtain personal information. While many phishing scams go unreported and unpunished, the Federal Trade Commission does handle some of these cases.
In Colorado, the Office of the Attorney General website helps the FTC pursue all kinds of fraud. Online identity theft, for example, is considered a class 4 felony. A class 4 felony is punishable by up to 6 years in prison and expensive fines.
Online sex crimes
The most common type of online sex crime is child pornography. These crimes include sexual exploitation of a child, procurement of a child for sexual exploitation, and internet sexual exploitation of a child.
Sexual exploitation of a child (child pornography) is a sexual offense and a felony. Colorado law prohibits the possession, production, or promotion of sexually explicit material of a child under 18 years of age. The sentencing is dependent on the acts committed but is punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine. If convicted, the person is also required to register as a sex offender.
Internet exploitation of a child occurs when a person uses the internet as a means to expose their intimate parts to a child or observe a child touching intimate body parts. Internet exploitation of a child is a class 4 felony punishable by a minimum of 2 and up to 6 years in prison, a fine, and mandatory sexual offender registration.
Kiana Arellano’s Law, or the harassment statute in Colorado, governs online harassment. It was named after Arellano after she attempted to take her life twice as a result of repeated cyberbullying. While the teen survived the attempts, she suffered a serious brain injury. Electronic harassment is a class 3 misdemeanor (a class 1 misdemeanor if it’s a hate crime). A class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine.
Educating children and teens about the consequences of cyberbullying can help prevent these situations. It’s also important to support children affected by cyberbullying to prevent cases like Arellano’s.
Distribution of malware or viruses
The distribution of malware or cyber viruses is considered a cybercrime in Colorado. While Colorado does investigate and prosecute many of these cybercrimes, the federal government maintains in some cases, as internet access means criminals can affect people across state lines. These crimes are generally considered a misdemeanor but can range to a class 2 felony depending on the monetary value of the damage.
Before every movie, there’s a warning that the reproduction of the movie is a federal offense and is punishable by law. Choosing to reproduce the movie is called piracy. Piracy extends to the reproduction of games and music as well.
Connect with a Cybercrime Defense Attorney
Modern technology is complicated, and the laws that dictate jurisdiction in cybercrimes cases can be even more complex. It’s important to obtain counsel from attorneys who understand cybercrimes and modern technology to ensure an effective defense. If you or a loved one becomes involved in a cybercrimes case in Colorado, Wolf Law is here to help. Call us at 720-479-8574 or complete our online contact form so we can begin examining your case.