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Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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When and How Do You Get in Trouble for Online Scams?

Posted in General FAQ'S on July 25, 2016

Online buy and sell sites such as Craigslist are no strangers to scams and pranks. The internet is full of different forms of fraud designed to steal financial information or sensitive personal details. Around the globe, people suffer from identity theft and financial hardship because of online scams. Even if you don’t mean any harm, an online scam or prank can go too far and land you with serious fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record.

When Scams Go Too Far

Recently, a woman in Los Angeles County discovered her house listed for sale on Craigslist—a family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms for the low price of $1,100. An interested buyer called the contact number on the post and gave her credit card information to the man who answered, giving him permission to charge a down payment of $40 to the card. Now, the homeowner and the victim of the scam wonder if they can press charges.

Fake apartment or home rental ads are a popular form of online scam in which the scammer will place an ad, photos, and information about a location that’s not really on the market. When a potential buyer shows interest, the scammer asks for money up front, a wire transfer, or credit card information.

Other Forms of Internet Fraud

There are many different types of online scams, and they continue to evolve as scammers become more advanced and innovative with newer technologies. Common forms of internet fraud include:

  • Phishing schemes. Scammer poses as a reputable business, such as a financial institution, and sends email or electronic communication to victims. When victims open the email, the link brings them to a page that requests they enter personal information, such as passwords and account numbers. The scammer then uses this information to hack your account.
  • Fake job offers. Jobs that seem too good to be true probably are. Pyramid schemes that promise big money for working from home, selling company products, or for a small fee are a popular way for scammers to make quick money on gullible job seekers.
  • Catfish scams. “Catfishing” is a term used to describe creating a fake online social media profile to pursue an internet romance. Scammers can trick victims into paying for travel, gifts, and other expensive things.
  • Prize scams. Many online scams disguise themselves as prizes, sending emails with “Congratulations! You Have Won…” in the subject line. These scams ask victims to pay fees or shipping costs to receive their prize, but the prize doesn’t exist.

Other forms of cybercrime are more serious—for example, targeting sensitive data from insurance companies.

Victim or Accused of Online Fraud? We Can Help

The Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC have helped many clients who were wrongly accused of fraud and embezzlement. Handling money can be difficult and may lead to major mistakes, financial losses, and a permanently damaged reputation. White-collar crime is no joke, and it can land you in jail or leave you with hefty fines. If you’re involved in a criminal case involving a fake check, online misrepresentation, charities fraud, or debt elimination fraud, we can help.

Our Riverside fraud and embezzlement attorneys have years of experience coming to the defense of people facing criminal charges. We can gather evidence to support a case for a defense that will clear your name and get you out of trouble. Fraud defense cases are difficult to build and require the attention of an expert attorney. Contact our firm today to get in touch with lawyers in Riverside who have successfully defended thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases.