Mail fraud occurs when a person uses the mail to pursue a scheme that involves lies or omissions with the intent to defraud others of money, property or services.
Wire fraud is an attempt to obtain money or goods through fraud or false pretenses through the use of electronic communication devices.
How does mail fraud occur?
Mail fraud is not limited to the U.S. Postal Service. Fraudulent use of interstate delivery carriers such as FedEx and UPS may result in mail fraud charges. Any person who knowingly participates in mailing money, contracts or letters regarding a fraudulent scheme or offer may face mail fraud charges.
What are some examples of mail fraud?
Mail fraud is often focused on vulnerable communities. For example, senior citizens may receive letters about fraudulent healthcare deals or requests for donations from fraudulent charities. Veterans may receive fraudulent offers to purchase their records when they can actually obtain their records for free through legitimate sources.
How does wire fraud occur?
Wire fraud charges may occur through fraudulent use of any electronic communication device. This includes telephones, radio, television, computers and even fax machines.
What are some examples of wire fraud?
Commonly occurring examples of wire fraud include phishing scams where scammers send fraudulent emails in an attempt to obtain personal information, credit card numbers and financial information. For example, the false email may look as if it came from a legitimate financial institution.
Mail fraud and wire fraud are serious charges as both are federal crimes which are punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.