We regularly advise people, directors, companies, business owners and officers who are involved in external investigations and prosecutions, related to fraud (cyber fraud), brought by Commonwealth and stage agencies.
Fraud Lawyers in NSW
Our Criminal Law Team can assist you with matters related to fraud corporate crime (cyber/Internet), we have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
We’ve been defending the people of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter region since 1969 and have helped our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in all Criminal Law matters.
We are used to dealing with the Police, and know all the ‘ins and outs’ of the Courts and Justice system.
If you have been charged with this type of crime, contact our Criminal Law Team today to book a teleconference or appointment. We’ll fight vigorously to protect your freedom and rights.
What is Fraud?
Fraud is an umbrella term for any crime involving the use of deception in order to receive personal or financial gain.
It typically involves obtaining property from another person or entity by performing a dishonest act (deception), without the person or entity being aware of the act being performed. However, it is important to note that fraud has only occurred if the dishonest act was performed intentionally or recklessly.
There are a number of fraud related charges covered under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum penalty for committing this crime in NSW is 10 years imprisonment.
Some common related offences include blackmail, embezzlement, false pretences and obtaining credit or money by deception. Common offences for Directors include omitting certain entries, destroying books, publishing false statements, cheating and defrauding.
If you have been accused of committing fraud or charged with committing a fraud offence you should immediately give our team of criminal lawyers a call.
We’ll fight vigorously to protect your freedom and rights.
What is Cyber Fraud (Internet/ Online)
Cyber fraud refers to a crime that has been committed deliberately, for unfair or unlawful gain, using one or more elements of Internet services, or software with Internet access, whereby the use of Internet was central to the crime. Internet services can include, but are not limited to, email, chat rooms, websites, message boards, social networks and web or mobile applications.
What are the different types of Cyber Fraud?
There are many types of cyber fraud. Some of the most common types are listed below:
Email Scams – A fraudster lures a victim into performing a desired action by sending them an email. This action usually involves the victim providing the fraudster with personal information or money. Common examples of this type of cyber fraud include the ‘Nigerian Letter‘, ‘419’ and ‘Spanish Lottery‘.
Identity Theft / Credit Card Fraud – A fraudster steals a person’s identity (and/or credit card details) primarily using the Internet and then exploits that identity for personal gain. This type of fraud now most commonly occurs via the use of social networks. Please refer to our page on ‘Identity Crime’ for further information.
Phishing – A fraudster makes contact with their victim using any means of online communication (mostly email) purporting to be a representative of a reputable and trustworthy company, such as a bank or telecommunications provider. During this process the victim may also be directed to land on a fake website that is set-up to look exactly like one belonging to the reputable company. Like the email scam, the purpose of this fraud is to be lure the victim into providing personal information, though it most commonly targets the victim’s banking details.
Dating Fraud – A fraudster creates a fake profile on an online dating website or application and deliberately targets vulnerable and single people desperate for love. After the fraudster develops a relationship with their victim, they play on the victim’s emotions and convince them to send them money. Dating fraud is either a one-time event or is repeated over and over again, until the victim realises that have been scammed.
Internet Auction Fraud (Online Shopping Scams) – A fraudster uses an online auction service, like eBay, to post advertisements for products and/or services that are either non-existent or fake. Once sold, the fraudster will attempt to collect the funds quickly, by either a wire transfer or transfer to third party. In some cases, the fraudster will ship a product to the victim that is worth considerably less value than what the victim intended to purchase. If the victim signs for the product upon delivery, they are legally obligated to pay for the product in full. This is known as the ‘Non-Delivery of Merchandise Scam’.
If I am accused of Cyber Fraud, what legal defences will I have?
There are a number of possible defences to cyber fraud, some of which are listed below. To find out which one may be suitable for your situation, give our team a call today.
Mistaken Identity – The Internet allows its users to have anonymity, which can be used as a defence if you are charged with cyber fraud. This defence forces the prosecution to prove that it was actually you who committed the alleged fraud, which is not an easy process.
Honest & Reasonable Mistake of Fact – This defence relies on you having made an honest and reasonable mistake, which lead to you accidentally committing the alleged fraud. For example, using the ‘Non-Delivery of Merchandise Scam’ mentioned above, if you delivered a product that was worth considerably less than what you sold it for, it could be argued that you honestly and reasonably never knew the real value of the product from the outset.
Duress & Necessity – This defence relies on you having been under significant duress when the alleged fraud was committed. For example, using ‘Dating Fraud’ mentioned above, if you were threatened by a third party to develop an online relationship with a victim, it could be argued that you were forced into a situation whereby the alleged fraud was committed.