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.
Regardless of the type of telephone fraud of which you have been accused, you may a number of severe criminal charges on the federal or state level. Here at Raisser & Kenniff, PC, our attorneys provide legal representation to clients accused of telephone fraud, and we have a history of helping defendants either reduce their jail sentences or completely avoid criminal penalties. Since no two cases are alike, it is important to contact a New York criminal defense lawyer for specific guidance regarding your case and the charges against you.
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.
Contact a New York Telephone Fraud Attorney Today
The telephone fraud lawyers at Raisser & Kenniff, PC can provide legal assistance if you have been accused of violating the law as it pertains to mobile phone scams or illegal telemarketing. To speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case, call us today, and we will be more than happy to review your case.