Internet Crimes

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Considering how widely available the Internet is to people in Washington, the United States and throughout the world, it is not surprising that people have found ways to commit crimes using the Internet as a tool. In fact, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 300,000 complaints in 2011, which was a 3.4% increase over 2010. The reported dollar loss for these complaints was $485.3 million, and these statistics are on the rise.

Because of this recent trend in criminal activity, special laws have been passed making criminal activity committed over the Internet illegal. If the Internet or a computer is used for a criminal purpose, or if a criminal offense takes place that involves the use of a computer or the Internet, it can be charged as an internet crime. The most common internet crime complaints received in 2011 involved FBI-related scams in which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims, as well as identity theft and advance-fraud. Here at Lewis & Laws, PLLC, our Seattle criminal attorneys have experience protecting those who are accused of crimes committed on the internet. Above all, we will fight aggressively and tirelessly to have your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.


One of the best ways to fight an internet crime accusation is to enlist the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner that you involve our team in your case, the sooner we can start building a strong defense strategy against your charges. Below, we have listed some of the common Internet crimes that our firm handles on the behalf of clients in and around Seattle.

Identity Theft 
This crime can be committed in many different ways, and happens when a person obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, to impersonate someone else. Identity theft is typically categorized as either a true name crime, where a thief uses personal information to open new accounts, or as an account takeover where the imposter gains access to a person's existing accounts.

Submitting False Claims 
There is a federal statute that makes it a crime to falsely bill the government, over-represent the amount of a delivered product, or under-state an obligation to the government. Submitting false claims will likely result in criminal prosecution of some kind.

Illegal Online Impersonation 
When you try to impersonate another person's identity online in a chatroom, through email, or in another online context, you may be criminally prosecuted.

Using Zombie Networks 
A zombie network is a collection of comprised computers or hosts that are connected to the Internet. Also known as a botnet, a zombie network can use a bot to infect thousands of computers with viruses, or can be used to attack computers with denial of service messages, spyware, spam and fraud.

Hacking may be viewed by some people as harmless and fun, but the government views these activities as a serious threat to privacy and e-commerce. This crime can involve actions such as changing the content on another user's website, redirecting someone who is trying to access a website to another site, entering a network that is meant to be privately accessed, or intentionally crashing another user's server.

This broad term involves the practice of deceiving people into believing that a website or email originates from a source that it does not. The most common type of spoofing is done through email, but IP spoofing and web page spoofing are also common.

This internet crime typically targets high security websites and attempts to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. These efforts are typically carried out through email spoofing or instant messaging, and uses social engineering techniques to deceive users.

Malware is software that is created to damage or disable computers or even computer systems. This crime is committed in order to gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems, and malware is the reason why people install software such as anti-virus systems and firewalls.

Email Worm 
Computer worms are designed to spread rapidly by relying on the security failures on the target computer in order to access it. Email worms, specifically, move through email programs and almost always cause some type of harm to the target computer or target network. Spammers often use worms to cause major disruptions in network traffic.


It is estimated that the U.S. spends $200 million to fight cybercrime on a yearly basis, and our country's efforts account for half of the law enforcement work throughout the world. Here at our firm, our Seattle criminal lawyers have a great deal of experience working through the many obstacles that can occur when handling Internet crime charges. In order to convict an individual of an Internet crime, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific computer was used to commit the crime and that the defendant was the one who actually used that computer to commit a crime. Investigators have ways of tracking criminal activity over the internet, but their methods are not fool proof and there are always opportunities to prove that the defendant was not the one participating in criminal activity.

If you have been charged with an Internet crime, you are going to need representation from a Seattle criminal defense attorney who will know how to handle these types of charges. The lawyers at our firm will challenge the evidence and allegations against you in an effort have your Internet crime charges reduced or dismissed. There are many approaches and different defense strategies that you can fight these types of crimes, and no matter what circumstances surround your case, your attorney will find a way to effectively defend you.

Contact a Seattle criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your Internet crime charges!

Take the right step after being charged!  Call 206.209.0608
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