Computer and Internet Crime

Computer and internet crime takes a variety of forms under California law, which is not surprising given the fact that computers are a facet of everyday life. The federal laws are almost as comprehensive.

Computer-based crimes include:

  • Internet fraud: fraudulent schemes conducted via email or over the Internet
  • Phishing scams: tricking an internet user into providing personal or confidential information, such as credit card numbers, which is then used for illegal purposes
  • Accessing a computer or its data without authorization: this is also known as ‘hacking’, and occurs when someone knowingly and without permission takes, copies, or uses data from a computer, computer system, or computer network.