Cybercrime Explained: Most Common Cybercrimes


With the rapid evolution of science and technology in today’s world, crimes that did not exist ten years ago are becoming common, dangerous crimes. Judges, defense attorneys, and trial rooms are now facing an abundance of what is not being referred to as cybercrime.

This area of crime typically refers to any kind of computer or technical crime, often utilizing the internet, online servers, and/or database storage. Although the list of possible computer crimes is quite long, and expanding as new technological strides are made, listed below are a few of the most common, and commonly misunderstood, cybercrimes:

1. Credit Card Fraud

Defined as using or manipulating a credit card or credit card system to acquire funds from an account not owned by the user, or to obtain products, goods, or services without due payment, credit card fraud is unfortunately a common thorn in the sides of business and the court system. Heavily related to identity theft, hackers or thieves will manage to get their hands on the credentials of a card, and use it to their personal interests while avoiding detection by the user or law enforcement.

2. Identity Theft

All American citizens have identifying credentials and numbers used to differentiate one person from another. When a criminal manages to acquire enough said credentials, including but not limited to Social Security numbers, Drivers Licenses, Passports, debit or credit cards, or even addresses, a crime is committed when they knowingly and intentionally impersonate or represent a person other for themselves in order to give them access to the property and resources of that individual.

3. Cyber Stalking

One of the most recent of crimes to become officially illegalized, a person is guilty of ‘cyber stalking’ when electronic or online mediums are utilized to harass, follow, accuse, defame, threaten, damage, or otherwise threaten the safety and well-being of another. Laws associated with this crime are closely tied to a state’s harassment, slander, and anti-stalking laws, and typically uses them as an umbrella to specify when in fact an individual crosses the line into illegal, criminal activity.

4. Illegal Downloading

Literally millions of gigabytes of data are transferred daily across the internet worldwide, and great effort is taken to protect those transfers from being taken or manipulated by those to whom the information doesn’t belong. However, as intellectual defenses are put up to protect that data, so does the cleverness of hackers. This most commonly occurs in media purchasing such as music and movies, where computer criminals download what isn’t rightfully theirs. Much has been done in the last few years to inhibit these illegalities.

5. Online Sexual Crimes

Typically occurring at the expense of minors, sexual crimes occur online when cyber predators try to entice, lure, or otherwise deceive children into viewing or being a part of sexual displays crafted online. As opposed to some of the other aforementioned cybercrimes, punishments for these types of crimes are often permanent, and will all but destroy a person’s future chances of applying for jobs or housing without limitations. These and other online criminal activity is constantly being further specified and enforced by state and federal law enforcement.

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