Phone scams are increasingly common in the digital age, and if you are caught up in a phone scam or have been charged with this type of offense, you could be facing stiff penalties. A lawyer can help you understand the implications of the specific type of scam in which you are being accused of participating and how to best defend yourself against such charges.
Phone Scams Are Increasingly Complex
There are at least eight different types of phone scams that are prevalent right now. They include:
- IRS scams
- Robocall scams
- Grandparent scams
- Free cruise scams
- Disaster relief scams
- Tech support impersonators
- Utility company impersonators
- Bank employee impersonators
These are just some of the phone scams percolating today. Let’s dive a bit deeper into some of the most prevalent of these scams.
Taxes are universal for citizens of any nation, and there is no fate that people dread more than getting into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For these reasons, scammers who claim to be representatives of the IRS may have a greater shot than most at netting victims.
You may be familiar with the tactics of an IRS scam. It involves calling people and telling them that they owed unpaid taxes and that they could avoid fines or jail time simply by wiring money. Though the IRS has issued several reports stating that these calls are not legitimate, these scams persist and are most common in the summer after tax season passes.
These sorts of scams can be preferable for fraudsters because they do not require a human to spend their time or brainpower convincing someone to send their money.
Robocall scams may offer recipients loans with zero-percent interest rates, or they may alert the recipient to issues with their credit cards, requiring that they hand over banking information or send money. Robocall scams come in many different varieties, but they have the same goal: to separate the recipient from their money.
Know What Is on The Line if You Were Involved in A Phone Scam
If you are facing charges related to a phone scam, or you believe that you could face such charges in the future, then you should be aware of the possible consequences of such charges.
Depending on the nature of the different types of phone scams that you may have been involved in, you could face a number of criminal charges. They may include:
- Fraud, including wire fraud and other forms
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
- Telemarketing fraud
Depending on the charges you are facing or will face, you could be penalized with a combination of fines and imprisonment, if convicted. Real-world examples of convicted phone scammers include:
- One scammer from Illinois who was given 240 months (20 years) in prison, plus three years of supervised release in a money-laundering conspiracy perpetrated in part through a phone scam
- Another Illinois man who was given 188 months (nearly 16 years) in prison, plus three years of supervised release, for wire fraud conspiracy connected to a phone scam
- A Texas man who received 151 months (nearly 13 years) in prison for money laundering conspiracy and an additional 120 months (ten years) in prison for naturalization fraud relating to a phone scam
Each case is different, but these sentences indicate that various state governments and the U.S. federal government are taking the prosecution of phone scams seriously. If you are facing charges related to alleged involvement in a phone scam, consider the value that a lawyer offers.
A Lawyer Can Build a Defense Against Phone Scam-Related Charges
You should not attempt to defend yourself from phone scam-related charges without assistance from an attorney. If you allow a lawyer to help you in your defense, they will:
- Help you understand the legal intricacies of your case
- Explain to you each of the charges you are facing and the potential legal punishments that you could face if convicted of each charge
- Speak with the judge and prosecutor in your case to explore any settlement options, which may allow you to avoid lengthy jail time
- Work with you to plan a defense should you choose to go to trial
- Collect any evidence that suggests you are not guilty of the charges with which you have been charged
- Handle all legal responsibilities necessary for your case to proceed, including arguing to a jury that you should be acquitted
There are different types of phone scams out there. Legal defenses are complicated, and prosecutors may approach your phone scam-related case in a way that is without precedent. At the very least, a lawyer can lend a hand if you have a defense strategy in mind, or they can take the lead, if you do not.
Call Our Team At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Today
Our clients have the privilege of contacting us via email, phone, text, social media, or any medium with which they are comfortable. Do not wait. Call us today at (610) 680-7842 to discuss your case.