Miami computer crimes, Internet fraud crimes, on the rise

Authorities contend that 3 of every 10 U.S. computer crimes originated in Florida last year in cases where an arrest was made.

The number of Miami residents victimized by computer crimes continues to increase, even as state, local and federal governments continue to pour resources into the prosecution of white-collar computer crimes in Miami. And, as the focus on computer crimes continues to grow, so do the instances of wrongful arrest. In this series, the Miami defense attorneys at Barakat, Jacobs & Associates will look at eBay and computer auction fraud, computer intrusion and search and seizure of e-mails.

Just this week, Reuters News reported that one of the world’s most notorious computer hackers, a 28-year-old college dropout from Miami, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges accusing him of helping to run a global computer fraud ring that stole tens of millions of dollars in credit card numbers.

The cost of computer fraud crimes was $560 million in 2009, while the number of crimes has exploded, from fewer than 20,000 in 2000 to 336,655 last year, according to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

Nearly 30 percent of all suspected Internet crimes originated in Florida in 2009, more than anywhere in the nation except California. The federal government reports the top financial crimes online continue to be non-deliver/non-payment of merchandise, e-mail scams, identity theft, credit card fraud, auction fraud and purposeful damage of computers through malware, viruses or other attack.