Among the internet and computer-related crimes handled by my office are:
- Internet Fraud
- Internet Identity Theft
- Internet Pharmacy
- 4-1-9 Scams and Advanced Fee Fraud
- Phishing Scams
- Illegal Spamming
- Computer Hacking
- Copy Right Violations
- Internet Child Pornography
- Internet Solicitation of Minors
- Internet Gambling
- Work at Home Schemes
- Credit Card Fraud
- Internet Drug Transactions
- Foreign Law and Extradition
Identity theft occurs anytime someone steals the private identifying information of another person and uses it to commit fraud. After the identity thief has pilfered private identifying information, the impostor can, among other things, procure loans, mortgages, credit cards, and cell phones, open bank accounts, lease apartments, buy time shares, obtain employment and utility services–all in the victim's name. Identity theft has reached epidemic proportions. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated that in the past year, there were 9.9 million victims of identity theft up from 6.9 million two years prior, and 3.4 million the year before that. The FTC has estimated business lost $48 billion to identity thieves in 2003, while individuals lost $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses.
"Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Each year, thousands of Colorado citizens and businesses lose millions of dollars to identity theft." John W. Suthers, Colorado Attorney General.
The overwhelming majority of security experts predict that identity theft will continue to rise for the foreseeable future because it is a relatively low risk crime with a high potential payoff that can be easy to pull off. Identity theft is profitable because the thief is able to get credit in the victim’s name. Consistent with this prediction, The Identity Theft Resource Center
reported on April 28, 2008, that in the first 90 days of this year, the personal information of more than 8 million Americans was stolen from company, hospital, bank and government databases.
Although identity theft has exploded, there has not so far been a commensurate level of identity theft prosecutions. Read more about it here
The criminal law and law enforcement often lag behind technological advances. But eventually they catch up. The government is already ramping up the investigation and prosecution of all cyber, internet and computer-related crimes including identity theft. Virtually every law enforcement agency now has a specialized computer and internet crime division
In Colorado, identity theft is a class 4 felony. C.R.S.A. 18-5-902. Since there have not thus far been too many prosecutions for identity theft in Colorado, there is a dearth of legal precedent. The criminal statutes dealing with internet based crimes have been amended quite a bit. Because many internet crimes involve interstate commerce, federal prosecutions have not been uncommon in other jurisdictions.
Many cyber crimes involve issues of international criminal law and extradition. International criminal law refers to crimes that involve more than one country. It sometimes refers to crimes committed in one country that have an effect in another country. It also deals with securing suspects, witnesses and evidence from other countries to prosecute a crime. International criminal law is a complex field that is undergoing continuous change.