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NYC Phone Fraud (Telemarketing Fraud) Lawyers

November 13, 2016 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Telephone fraud is a term used to describe a number of illegal activities. Phone fraud involves calling someone to trick the recipient into either sending money or disclosing financial information or personal details. Mobile phone fraud is similar in that it involves dishonest behavior through the use of cell phones.

Examples of Telephone Scams

There are many types of telephone fraud schemes, and they typically involve an individual calling someone to perpetrate fraud. Examples include:

– IRS telephone scams. The caller warns the recipient that the IRS will take action against them, such as property seizure, in order to collect taxes owed. The caller attempts to coerce the recipient into paying a sum of money by purchasing a credit card or a prepaid debit card.

– Travel fraud. Call recipients are lured in with promises of vacation deals for smaller sums of money to cover taxes or fees. However, no “deal” vacation exists, and the fees are ultimately higher than what the caller initially guaranteed.

– Charity fraud. Callers attempt to convince recipients to make sizable donations to fake charities. In other instances, callers use the names of real, well-known charities, but they never send the money to the organization.

– Boiler room fraud or investment fraud. Callers attempt to find investors who become victims of Ponzi schemes, pre-IPO investment fraud, microcap fraud and other forms of investment schemes. The caller promises the recipient great rates of return for fake investments as well as ones that will not deliver the ROIs promised.

Anytime someone uses a phone to contact someone for the purposes of making false statements to obtain money or using materially misleading promises to enrich themselves, it is a criminal act. Similarly, phone number scams in which a caller manipulates the caller ID data into a familiar number from a recipient’s friend or family member are also common.

Is Mobile Phone Fraud Different?

Mobile fraud is different than telephone fraud in that the scheme involves using a cell phone as part of the fraud instead of simply communicating misleading information. For instance, mobile phone fraud includes:

– Fake text message scams. The recipient is told of a suspended account and must text personal or financial information to fix the issue.
– Ringtone scams. Phone owners download ringtones that contain viruses designed to collect financial and personal details.
– Cloning. This involves “cloning” an individual’s cell phone so the perpetrator may use his or her account information without authorization.
– Lost or stolen cell phones. These phones are mined for financial and personal information, which are then used for identity theft.
– Signing up for a cell phone using someone else’s personal and financial information. This is a form of identity theft.

Telephone Scam Penalties

Under the Wireless Telephone Protection Act of 1998, a first offense may result in a prison sentence of 15 years and a fine. The Act criminalizes a number of behaviors as they pertain to mobile phone fraud, including the sale, manufacture, possession or use of cloning software or hardware.

Defendants may face a number of other charges, including crimes related to fraudulent misrepresentation and identity theft. Since a defendant may face decades of imprisonment and be indicted on multiple counts, it is important to work with a New York criminal defense attorney who can aggressively respond on his or her behalf.

Spam or a telemarketers cold-call, is an example of mass marketing. Savvy people usually recognize a scam, when they see or hear one. Sometimes, though, scammers ensnare unsuspecting people, and cause them to donate, or invest, money. Mass marketing fraud is a form of fraud which uses mass-media to contact, solicit, and obtain, money unlawfully. These are fraud schemes, plain and simple. In some cases, they may be legitimate businesses – which just didn’t end well. In order to recoop money, prosecutors may claim they were fraud – in order to help client money back. Mass marketing fraud affects millions of people, and has huge consequences.

Examples of mediums that mass marketing fraud schemes use, include: mail, email, sms, phone calls + faxes, websites, radios, and more.  Most mass marketing schemes involve the presentation of a solicitation to a vast number of victims in an attempt to prey on the most gullible. There are three major types of mass marketing fraud cases we handle: advanced fee fraud, bank and financial account schemes, and investment opportunity fraud schemes.

Advanced Fee Fraud

This is built on the principle that a victim will be given a substantial payout, but has to pay in advance a tax, or fee, before the person can receive anything. Below are some examples of advance fee fraud cases our nyc criminal attorneys handle.

  • Auction schemes: They induce victims to send money for an item – but then send nothing, or an item far less valuable.
  • Online work at home – These offer people the chance to work from home, and earn high income. They require the victim to pay for initial start up materials, but don’t ever deliver any product or information needed to make the opportunity viable as a business.
  • credit card interest reduction: They offer to help consumers lower their credit card interest rates, and charge an upfront fee without doing anything.
  • Inheritance: Victims are contacted claiming they are entitled to an inheritance from someone who has died. The victim is directed to make a payment for a fee before the inheritance be distributed.
  • Sweepstakes: In order to claim a winning lottery ticket, the victim has to pay “fake taxes.”

Bank and Financial Accounts

These schemes involve involve, and identity theft. They use someones information for financial gain.

Investment Opportunities

The US department of justice categorizes investment fraud as something which uses mass marketing schemes to manipulate securities markets for personal gain.

  • Pump and dump – Schemes which offer high yield returns on investments through releasing fake information. This fraud involves dramatic price increases in stocks for nonexistent companies, and then immediately selling off the stocks to return substantial profits before the stock price falls.
  • Short selling – This is similar to pump and dump, except false information is released to cause price decreased in a stocks price using mass media.

We can help

Mass marketing fraud can be a a federal offense. Under federal law, fraud is defined as falsifying, or covering up any trick/scheme as a material fact. In addition, fraud is defined when you make materially false statements. Marketing fraud is a federal offense, when the fraud crosses interstate lines. If your mass marketing fraud cases involves either computers, mail, or wires – then you could be convicted of also computer fraud, mail fraud, or wire fraud.

Our NYC mass marketing fraud lawyers have experience virtually every type of fraud case and can help you. Get a risk free consultation today to learn more.



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