When it comes to crimes committed online, there are only a few that make the news. Most people know that downloading movies and music is illegal, and almost everyone has heard of online predators. But what about the other crimes that are getting people in hot water? Here are some of the lesser known, but common, Internet crimes.


Phishing occurs when someone gains access to your computer without your consent. The person then sends multiple emails that are intended to deceive recipients. If the criminal is caught and convicted, the maximum penalty for this crime is three years in prison for a first offense.


When a person threatens to cause damage to your person or property in order to gain payment from you, they are extorting you. If they do it online, they are subject to up to five years in prison. That prison time is coupled with a fairly hefty fine.

Sports Betting

If you utilize the Internet to take part in betting or wagering on a sporting event, you are breaking the law. This federal time could have you spending up to two years in prison. States have the right to regulate non-sports betting online.

Non-Delivery of Merchandise

If you win and ultimately pay for something you found in an online auction and don’t receive the item, the person selling it may be guilty of fraud. Of course, delivery mishaps happen. That said, if someone is found to be guilty of misleading or scheming to defraud potential customers, they face 20 years in the big house.


If you use the Internet to harass, threaten, abuse, or annoy someone, you could be doing jail time. Whether you use social media, a blog, email, or any other means of electronic communications, Internet harassment is a big deal and punishable by up to two years in prison.


Most people think of prostitution occurring on a street corner. In this day and age, it is easy to find a prostitute online. If that prostitution crosses state lines, it becomes a federal crime, punishable by up to 20 years.

The Internet is a wonderful place full of information and knowledge to be gained. Unfortunately, it is also full of the criminal element. Think twice about what you are doing online lest you want to spend a few years behind bars.

If you have been charged with a crime, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here for you. Call us today for a free consultation.

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