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What constitutes wire fraud?

| Mar 30, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

While many activities fall under the umbrella term of white-collar crime, you may find few with more varied instances than wire fraud.

The United States Department of Justice asserts that this crime is similar to mail fraud, but with a few elements that require it to stand as its own offense.

Wire fraud definition

The major difference between wire fraud and mail fraud is that the former takes place over the phone, internet or other digital services. The charge must include several different actions related to intent, including:

  • Intent to defraud individuals for financial gain
  • Foreknowledge of the wire fraud
  • Misuse of wire communication with the intent to commit a crime

Not all wire fraud schemes are the same, so the charges you face may vary depending on the circumstances of the incident.

Types of wire fraud

Although wire fraud scams vary, they usually have one thing in common: financial gain. Perhaps you face charges of impersonating a famous individual online to raise money for a fictitious charity or conspired with others in a phishing ring to acquire bank account numbers. Whether you used email, texts or the telephone during the alleged activity, each constitutes wire fraud, so you may face either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the offense.

Those pressing wire fraud charges must provide proof of the act and that the people involved intended to commit fraud. Texts, phone records and emails might all provide this proof in a court of law. By understanding how the law defines the activities, you may be able to navigate your case and make more informed decisions of your defense.