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Determining whether spam is a crime or just a pain

As we’ve touched on in previous posts, the Internet has provided opportunities for legitimate business, as well as fraud, in ways never before seen. The result has been a number of laws quickly drawn up to protect those victimized by Internet crime. It is also possible for people in North Dakota and elsewhere to commit a computer crime without even knowing what they are doing is illegal. The attorneys at Dusek Law are prepared to protect the rights of clients accused of various types of cybercrime.

What about spam? Most people find this type of electronic junk mail annoying, but is it illegal? According to the United States Department of Justice, spam email that represents a valid business is not necessarily a crime, even if people get tired of seeing it in their inboxes. One of the best ways to handle this type of spam is to remove yourself from the mailing list or block the sender.

However, other types of spam violate Internet fraud or harassment laws. These types of correspondence typically include the following:

  • Investment schemes that target vulnerable people to solicit fraudulent cash transfers from one country to another – often known as Nigerian scams
  • Spam advertising fraudulent investments or Ponzi schemes
  • Fraudulent behavior regarding online auctions
  • Advertisements that questionably claim “miraculous” cures or treatments from medical products or devices
  • Violations of the National Do Not Call Registry

In most of these cases, people are able to report the spam or fraudulent actions to various government agencies. If you are suspected of propagating emails that violate Internet laws, you may face serious charges. For more information on the defense of Internet criminal activity and other white collar crimes, please visit our page.

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