Have you ever received an email from a company claiming to show you how to make a lot of money working from home on a unique business opportunity?
With the proliferation of internet-based jobs and marketing have come many more small businesses and people claiming to have made a fortune on the internet.
Many of them claim you can do it too, and that’s very appealing to most people.
Most of these small businesses and individuals are probably not fraudsters, but people who are trying to sell a business model or an online course.
It becomes a fraud when the company fails to provide any services or tools necessary to start your business after you have paid for your “package.”
Examples of Mass Marketing Fraud
According to the Department Of Justice, mass marketing fraud refers to fraud using one or more than one method of mass-communication.
These fraud schemes are usually made to defraud many people out of small amounts of money or a small number of people out of a large amount of money.
Often, these types of fraud come in the form of a high volume of unsolicited emails.
According to the DOJ, all of these types of fraud qualify as mass marketing fraud.
Advance fee schemes such as:
- Online auction schemes
- Online retail schemes
- Business opportunity schemes
- Work from home schemes
- Charity schemes
- Credit card interest reduction schemes
- Inheritance schemes
- Foreign sweepstakes schemes
- Overpayment schemes
- Counterfeit cashier’s check schemes
- Romance schemes
Financial Account Schemes such as “Phishing” or “vishing” schemes
Investment Opportunity schemes including:
- Short-selling schemes
- “Pump and dump” schemes
For a short description of these types of mass marketing schemes and more, visit the Department Of Justice website.
Under Investigation for Federal Crimes?
If you have or a loved one has been arrested or are under investigation for federal mass marketing fraud, you will need the help of an experienced federal criminal attorney.
Federal investigations are not the same as local law enforcement investigations. Often, your first inkling that you are under investigation will come unannounced when a federal agent shows up at your home or workplace.
In addition, federal agents are trained to elicit statements from suspects. They are very good at getting you to incriminate yourself.
However, you should never lie to a federal agent! As you can see, this is a fine line to walk, and it can be made more comfortable with the help of an attorney experienced in federal prosecution cases.
Penalties for Federal Mass Marketing Fraud Charges
Our federal government has an interest in protecting consumers. It is estimated that consumers lose over ten billion dollars worldwide to mass-marketing fraud.
Not only the FBI, but ICE, FTS, and the US Postal Inspection Service are empowered to investigate mass marketing fraud.
Often, this type of fraud is prosecuted under interstate commerce laws, since it becomes a federal offense when it crosses state or country lines.
- Computer fraud convictions can include up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
- Mail or wire fraud can include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
- Financial fraud, such as identity theft, bank fraud, online sales scams, and business opportunity fraud can carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million.
What You Should Do if Charged for Federal Mass Marketing Fraud
In conclusion, it is an understatement to say you may face harsh penalties if you are convicted of a federal mass marketing fraud.
It is crucial that you use your right to remain silent and contact an experienced federal defense attorney right away.
Call my office for your free consultation. We will work together toward the best possible outcome for your case.