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Federal Mass Marketing Fraud Attorney

July 9, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

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. 

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. In modern times, the internet is the vehicle of choice among fraudsters.  With it, they are capable of reaching millions of individuals all across the globe using spam emails, phony websites, and other methods. Also, even though you might receive hundreds of spam emails a week, mass marketing fraud is considered 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

According to multiple surveys, the yearly total losses resulting from mass-marketing fraud may soon approach tens of billions of U.S. dollars worldwide. To more effectively protect consumers, several federal agencies relentlessly pursue perpetrators of fraud, including the FBI, the Federal Trade Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and even the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. These federal agencies, who function outside of the restrictions of local jurisdictions, are able to utilize a wide array of resources and investigative tactics to charge alleged offenders.  Since this is a federal crime, convicted offenders serve years in prison.

As we said above, mass marketing fraud entails 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. Some of the most prevalent schemes employed today include:

  • Advance-fee fraud schemes — fraud that promises a big 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 employs a fraudulent and deceptive collection of information for financial gain. The act referred to as “Phishing” is perhaps the most common form.
  • Investment opportunity fraud schemes — fraud that employs mass marketing to manipulate security markets for personal profit.

Penalties for Mass Marketing Fraud

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

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

Other varieties of mass marketing fraud are:

  • 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

Getting convicted of any of these financially-related offenses can mean up to 30 years behind bars and fines of up to $1 million.

What Do I Do If I Am Under Investigation for Mass Marketing Fraud

It is critical to note that federal investigations are unlike other investigations, such as when your local police department conducts a criminal investigation. In general, if you or a loved one is the subject of an investigation for mass marketing fraud, the first contact you have with federal agents will happen in the form of an unannounced visit to your home, job or business. Federal agents are well trained to ask probing questions in an attempt to trick you into incriminating yourself.

Never tell lies to federal investigators.  In a rather famous example, Martha Stewart was not convicted of securities fraud; instead, they charged her, in part, with giving false statements to federal investigators. That said, once you are aware that you’re under investigation, it is essential to reach out to your federal criminal defense attorney. Under investigation, you should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent and right to an attorney.  In the pre-file phase of the case, your attorney can stand in as your spokesperson to the investigators.

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. 

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. In modern times, the internet is the vehicle of choice among fraudsters.  With it, they are capable of reaching millions of individuals all across the globe using spam emails, phony websites, and other methods. Also, even though you might receive hundreds of spam emails a week, mass marketing fraud is considered 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

According to multiple surveys, the yearly total losses resulting from mass-marketing fraud may soon approach tens of billions of U.S. dollars worldwide. To more effectively protect consumers, several federal agencies relentlessly pursue perpetrators of fraud, including the FBI, the Federal Trade Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and even the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. These federal agencies, who function outside of the restrictions of local jurisdictions, are able to utilize a wide array of resources and investigative tactics to charge alleged offenders.  Since this is a federal crime, convicted offenders serve years in prison.

As we said above, mass marketing fraud entails 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. Some of the most prevalent schemes employed today include:

  • Advance-fee fraud schemes — fraud that promises a big 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 employs a fraudulent and deceptive collection of information for financial gain. The act referred to as “Phishing” is perhaps the most common form.
  • Investment opportunity fraud schemes — fraud that employs mass marketing to manipulate security markets for personal profit.

Penalties for Mass Marketing Fraud

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

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

Other varieties of mass marketing fraud are:

  • 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

Getting convicted of any of these financially-related offenses can mean up to 30 years behind bars and fines of up to $1 million.

What Do I Do If I Am Under Investigation for Mass Marketing Fraud

It is critical to note that federal investigations are unlike other investigations, such as when your local police department conducts a criminal investigation. In general, if you or a loved one is the subject of an investigation for mass marketing fraud, the first contact you have with federal agents will happen in the form of an unannounced visit to your home, job or business. Federal agents are well trained to ask probing questions in an attempt to trick you into incriminating yourself.

Never tell lies to federal investigators.  In a rather famous example, Martha Stewart was not convicted of securities fraud; instead, they charged her, in part, with giving false statements to federal investigators. That said, once you are aware that you’re under investigation, it is essential to reach out to your federal criminal defense attorney. Under investigation, you should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent and right to an attorney.  In the pre-file phase of the case, your attorney can stand in as your spokesperson to the investigators.

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