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The role of the Secret Service in Internet crimes

It may surprise some Wisconsin residents to know that the United States Secret Service can play a large role in prosecuting Internet crimes. The Secret Service does not only protect the president and other dignitaries; the organization is also responsible for protecting the nation's financial infrastructure. This includes any fraudulent financial transactions that take place across the Internet.

Along with criminal activities such as counterfeiting, forgery and money laundering, the Secret Service may also investigate common and widespread crimes that occur in an online environment. To develop an idea of Internet-based crimes the Secret Service might investigate, take a look at the list below. Many of these activities involve more ordinary individuals rather than hardened criminals.

-- Fraudulent credit card and e-check transactions -- Fraudulent banking activities -- Identity theft and false identification -- Skimming, or access device fraud -- Internet-based scamming, aka Advance Fee Fraud -- Other fraudulent online computer activities

While most people already understand that computer or Internet fraud is a federal offense, they might not understand how severe the problem can be. If you are facing allegations of finance-related Internet crimes, it is important to know that the Secret Service might play a role in prosecution efforts. For this reason and many others, it is crucial to take such allegations seriously, even if you know you are innocent.

Preparing for your defense with sound legal advice is the best way to avoid prosecution attempts as well as a subsequent conviction. Understanding the charges against you and the possible role government officials might play is a good first step in preparing such a defense.

Source: United States Secret Service, "Criminal Investigations" accessed Mar. 23, 2015

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