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Is identity theft a felony in Wisconsin?

Misrepresenting who you are by utilizing the personal information of someone else, or someone’s business, is a serious crime in Wisconsin. If you are currently facing an identity theft charge, you may be feeling understandably uneasy about the repercussions you could potentially face in the event that your charge ultimately leads to a conviction.

In fact, using someone else’s personal information to obtain goods or services, avoid civil or criminal processes or penalties, or damage the reputation of that person is actually a class H felony crime, and it can bring with it potentially life-altering penalties. Per the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, violating the state’s identity theft laws can leave you facing fines as high as $10,000, and up to six years behind bars.

What common online actions constitute cybercrime?

Living in the digital age means there is no shortage of access to computers and the internet. The freedom to go online at any time from anywhere has created a false sense of security and entitlement for some individuals. People who use computers and other electronic devices and the internet maliciously and fraudulently commit cybercrimes. Due to the wide availability of internet access and network accessible devices, the frequency at which cybercrimes occur has skyrocketed. 

Some people are more tech-savvy than others and decide to use their skills for personal benefit. Other individuals may not realize their actions are wrong, which could lead to them receiving a cybercrime charge in addition to other criminal charges. Cybercrimes are federal offenses, and the penalties are severe. For individuals to better understand what is at stake with a conviction, here is a brief overview of some common types of cybercrimes

Is cyberbullying illegal in Wisconsin?

Cyberbullying is a widespread phenomenon. This term refers to using the internet to intimidate, harass or harm another person. And while bullying is an age-old problem, it largely takes place online now rather than in-person. Cyberbullying often occurs on social media sites, text messages and emails. 

But is cyberbullying a crime? While there is not a law explicitly prohibiting cyberbullying in Wisconsin, there may still be legal consequences for the act. Here are the laws that may apply to cyberbullying.

3 common social media crimes

Social media platforms are an essential part of our society. Millions of people use websites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat every day. Most people even get their news from social media platforms. Due to the skyrocketing popularity of social media websites, it is no surprise that people use them to commit crimes.

There are several new types of crimes that are unique to social media, while others are simply adapted to these new platforms. Here are a few of the most common forms of criminal activities that take place on social media accounts. 

What can happen if you lie on your taxes?

These days, filing your taxes can prove endlessly confusing, and it can become increasingly complicated when new tax laws take effect and change the existing filing rules and guidelines even further. Because there is so much room for error when filing your taxes, it can be all too easy to make mistakes or omissions, but even if you do not overtly intend to lie on your taxes, doing so can still land you in serious trouble.

Just what types of penalties and repercussions can you face these days for lying on your taxes?

Catfishing: a prank or crime?

Sometimes, the most benign actions can lead to serious consequences. Heading online to play a practical joke on someone may result in humor...or something much worse.

In Wisconsin, impersonating someone or lying about your identity to entice another to engage with you is not illegal yet. However, this does not mean it is completely innocent. What is catfishing, and why do many states consider it illegal?

4 common email crimes

Email is one of the most useful forms of electronic communication. Of course, its popularity is dwindling with the rise of texting. But it is still common to use email for communicating with individuals and staying up to date with subscriptions to websites. 

As with any form of online communication, email is prone to scams and criminal activity. Here are some of the most common ways that people misuse email for criminal purposes

Differences between fraud and forgery

Writing a bad check is a serious offense in the state of Wisconsin. Anyone guilty of writing a bad check of less than $2,500 could face Class A misdemeanor charges while bad checks in excess of $2,500 could face Class I felony charges.

The person responsible for writing the check could face forgery or fraud charges depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. While the general populace often uses these terms interchangeably, they do have different legal definitions. Anyone facing criminal charges needs to understand the differences to best mount a legal defense.

The evolution of phishing

As the use of the internet continues to grow, so do the opportunities for cyber crime. As such incidents increase, so do the government's attempts to stop them.

If you or a loved one face charges for cyber crime, it is important to understand the charges to know what you are up against. Phishing is one of the oldest forms of cyber crime and remains a prevalent one today.

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