09 Jul 20

Federal Mass Marketing Fraud Attorney

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Last Updated on: 7th August 2023, 05:24 am

Mass Marketing Fraud Goes Online

In the event that you or a loved one is the subject of an investigation for, or was arrested on, federal charges in relation to a mass marketing fraud scheme, it is in your best interest to contact a federal crimes attorney with experience in mass marketing fraud.

Internet and Mass Marketing Fraud

With the proliferation of the internet came new ways to commit mass marketing fraud. In short, mass marketing fraud exploits telecommunications and other types of mass communications to contact and spam thousands of individuals. Today, the internet is the vehicle of choice for fraudsters. They can reach millions of global individuals using spam emails, phony websites, and other methods. Mass marketing fraud becomes a federal crime when fraudsters attempt to get you to send over money or personal information for an empty promise of future prizes, products, or services that never come.

Mass Marketing Fraud is a Federal Crime

Multiple surveys suggest the yearly total losses from mass-marketing fraud may soon approach tens of billions of U.S. dollars worldwide. To protect consumers, several federal agencies like the FBI, Federal Trade Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service relentlessly pursue perpetrators of fraud. These agencies operate outside local jurisdictions’ restrictions and use an array of resources and investigative tactics to charge alleged offenders. Convicted offenders serve years in prison as this is a federal crime.

As mentioned, mass marketing fraud involves fraudulent solicitation to vast numbers of potential victims, and fraudsters can be successful due to the sheer numbers of possible victims they reach out to. The most prevalent schemes today include:

Types of Fraud Schemes

  • Advance-fee fraud schemes — fraud that promises a significant cash payout, such as a million-dollar prize or sizable inheritance, and to receive it, the victim must pay a tax or another type of fee in advance.
  • Bank and financial account schemes — involving identity theft. This scheme uses a fraudulent collection of information for financial gain. The act called “Phishing” is perhaps the most common form.
  • Investment opportunity fraud schemes — fraud that uses mass marketing to manipulate security markets for personal profit.

Penalties for Mass Marketing Fraud

According to the federal fraud legislation (18 U.S.C. § 1001), mass marketing fraud becomes a federal offense when it involves interstate or international commerce. Some specific federal offenses include:

  • Computer Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030) — Penalties can entail up to 10 years in federal prison or a fine of up to $250,000, or both
  • Mail or Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341; 1343) — Penalties can entail up to 20 years in federal prison or a fine of up to $250,000, or both

Other forms of mass marketing fraud are:

Other Forms of Fraud

  • Mortgage fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft fraud
  • Will or inheritance scams
  • Foreign lottery schemes
  • Securities fraud
  • Loan Modification fraud
  • Online sales scams
  • Business opportunity fraud

Conviction on any of these financially-related offenses can mean up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million.

What to Do If Under Investigation for Mass Marketing Fraud?

Federal investigations differ from other investigations like your local police department conducting a criminal investigation. In general, if you or a loved one is under investigation for mass marketing fraud, the first contact you have with federal agents often comes as an unannounced visit to your home, job, or business. Federal agents are trained to ask probing questions to trick you into incriminating yourself.

Never lie to federal investigators. Notably, Martha Stewart was not convicted of securities fraud. Instead, she was charged, in part, with giving false statements to federal investigators. Therefore, once you’re under investigation, reach out to your federal criminal defense attorney. You should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent and right to an attorney during the investigation. In the pre-file phase of the case, your attorney can act as your spokesperson to the investigators.