Its 2018. Most people have had access to the internet now for over 20 years, and boy has it come a long way. It is the primary source of communication for both private individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, due to this fact, and how easy it is to remain anonymous online, there has been an increase in associated fraudulent behaviour.
Two common examples we see often which individuals come up against are:
- Investment Scams
- Online Abuse
Investment Scams – Example
A broker from overseas (commonly either Hong Kong or the USA) sends you an email regarding shares that you may have legitimately purchased several years ago and offers you a large amount of money to sell. Copies of your share certificates may even be included. It can be as convincing as it is sophisticated, and due to the lucrative nature of the deal, it is very tempting.
Lucky for you, our lawyers are trained in this very niche area and can assist in revealing whether the offer is legitimate. Taking a forensic approach to the technology used, along with some super sleuthing that even Sherlock Holmes would be impressed by, we have successfully protected our clients from the potential loss of thousands of dollars and identity theft.
Online Abuse – Example
Sending a person a large volume of offensive text messages, emails or instant messages (including visa Facebook, Instagram etc) or a telephone calls is a criminal offence. If you know the identity of who is harassing you, we suggest you take evidence to your local police station and request that they assist you to make it stop by having them charge the perpetrator with Section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code – Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence. It is an offence for a person to use a carriage service (e.g. phone, internet, Skype, etc) in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being menacing, harassing or offensive. The police will consider the content of the messages, the frequency, the time they were sent, and the relevant circumstances to determine this charge. The maximum penalty for this offence is 3 years imprisonment (or 10 years if the threat involved a threat to kill) however a more likely order to be made by court against the perpetrator is a ‘good behaviour’ order.
However, if you do not know the identity of the person and they are attempting to act anonymously, you may contact ROCHE Legal for a free assessment of the likelihood of being able to uncover the abuser’s identity.