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An overview of wire fraud

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, involve deception or omission for financial gain and are rarely violent. The word gets its name from the most likely offenders, respectable people in financial sectors, such as brokers and accountants. An example of white collar crime is wire fraud, which occurs through various communication methods.

How wire fraud works and examples

In the past, scammers had to rely on direct mail or telephone to find gullible people. Today, wire fraud involves using modern forms of interstate communication, such as email, faxing social media, texts, and cell phones, to deceive. This includes transmitting messages intended to scam through television, radio, signals, signs and images.

A common wiring fraud scam is phishing or posing as a legitimate business in emails to gain access to sensitive data. The phishing email often claims they detected suspicious activity on their account and the customer needs to verify it.

The Nigerian Prince scam claims an exiled prince or a prince going through another bad luck situation needs a safe place to temporality hold money. Some Nigerian Prince scams promise a portion of the funds for helping them, but they really just want access to bank accounts.

Wire fraud penalties

White collar crimes, such as wire fraud, commonly get charged as a state crime or federal crime. The defendant gets charged per count, such as four emails or phone calls will count as four charges.

One wire fraud federal offense could include a $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in jail. This means four counts of fraud would get a penalty of $1 million and an 80-year jail term for four offenses. Penalties increase to up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for wire fraud committed against a presidentially declared disaster area or financial institution.

The prosecution must prove the scammer had intent or conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They also only have so much time to file charges, but the defendant should seek legal help for advice on their specific case.


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