In general, fraudulent activity ends up treated very seriously in every context it surfaces as a potential charge. For some reason, however, certain forms of fraud end up misunderstood as less serious crimes than they are.
Wire fraud often falls under this category, with some people not even aware that what they do constitutes fraud at all.
What is wire fraud?
The Department of Justice looks into elements of wire fraud. First: what is wire fraud, exactly? Wire fraud basically involves the attempt to part someone from their money, assets or access to reliable services through practices of fraud or trickery.
The important distinction, in this case, falls to the “wire” part. In order for something to fall under the category of wire fraud, it had to take place electronically. This can include everything from emails to text messages, faxes to instant messages, and anything in between.
Most people have come across at least one wire fraud scheme in their time online. A popular one from the earlier days of the internet involves a so-called Nigerian prince promising riches in return for a little borrowed money.
Penalties associated with wire fraud
Due to the commonality of such scams online, most people today may feel somewhat desensitized to wire fraud. However, it is still very much a punishable offense with hefty penalties for those convicted.
The penalties can include time in jail for decades at a time, fines of up to one million dollars depending on the party duped, and other restrictions and sanctions. A wire fraud charge certainly should not seem like something a person can avoid looking at seriously.