What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud consists of fraudulent activity that is carried out or furthered using electronic communication or data transmission devices. In the past, wire fraud was limited to traditional devices such as wires, radio, television and phone lines. Today, it has expanded to include the internet, cellular networks, text messages, social media, computers, artificial intelligence and other technology.

Wire fraud involves using electronic devices or communication systems to fraudulently gain access to funds. The federal wire fraud statute also makes it an offense to defraud the federal government or another agency using the above means. Some examples of wire fraud in New York include:

  • Operating a phishing scam via email
  • Telemarketing or automated calling scams
  • Installing malware or other harmful software to collect personal data
  • Hacking online bank systems or accounts to obtain funds
  • Running Ponzi schemes
  • Using fake loan application forms to steal people’s identities

In New York, wire fraud is rarely charged as a standalone, separate offense against a defendant. Wire fraud is typically an add-on or catch-all charge to punish other crimes that are not otherwise specifically targeted. Because wire fraud is commonly used to carry out various fraudulent offenses, wire fraud charges may be combined with crimes like bank fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, tax crimes or phishing scams.

Wire fraud is an offense that comes with serious consequences. Anyone who has been accused of committing wire fraud in New York should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Brill Legal Group has the knowledge and skills needed to craft a strong defense strategy for you.

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