Internet crimes have become more common as society becomes more reliant on the internet in daily life. There is a range of crimes that can occur online, from simple scams to complex criminal activities. One of the best-known methods of online crime is through emails.
A common type of email crime is ransomware, which the FBI defines as a way for scammers to install malicious code on your computer through an infected attachment or link. These emails often appear legitimate and will grab your attention because they use wording that makes it seem as if you need to act right away.
The malicious code
Once your computer has the malicious code, the infection will start messing with the information saved on your computer. It can also cross to other computers attached to yours through a network. When the virus attacks information, it prevents you from being able to access that information.
Demands for payment
You may receive a warning that tells you about the infection of your computer. This warning will typically also ask you to pay a monetary sum to regain access to your information. This is the reason that it is called ransomware.
If you pay the ransom, it is unlikely that you will ever get access back to your information. The person who sent you the virus will already have what he or she wants and therefore have no reason to provide you with the decryption you need to remove the virus. You should not pay the ransom and should instead contact the FBI if you find yourself in this type of situation.
If you are accused
If you are accused of engaging in a ransomware scheme or other white collar crime, it is critical that you consult a highly skilled criminal defense attorney right away. The penalties upon conviction for such crimes include lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines.