Using a Computer to Commit Fraud
Computer crimes do not always involve a personal computer, but can occur when someone illegally accesses another computer. This kind of crime is common in crimes like identity theft and bank fraud. Often when another computer is accessed, the offender will retrieve the information and store it on a separate device in order to transfer it to their own computer. Any intermediary device could also become the subject of a computer search.
Many computer crimes that occur on workplace computers involve stealing sensitive computer material. This can be a number of things ranging from medical histories to financial information. Usually it is illegal to view this information without the authorization of the individual since it is a violation of their right to privacy. But this kind of information can also become evidence in crimes such as identity theft, where sensitive information is taken in order to commit acts of fraud.
Using a Computer Service Without Authorization – Class A Misdemeanor
It is also illegal to use certain computer systems which are off limits to the public. These computers are often difficult to access, and the user must bypass a number of security measures. A typical situation which might include an unauthorized computer terminal might be one located in a government building. In New York (NY) using such a computer without authorization is a class A misdemeanor. In order for this to become a crime, the computer must have a program to prevent unauthorized access.
Computer Trespass – Class E felony
Trespassing on a computer is a more serious crime than using a computer service without authorization become the offender will be using data on the computer in order to commit a separate felony. Usually when someone is trespassing on an unauthorized computer they intend to later commit identity theft. However, simply using a computer to get restricted computer material or to commit any kind of felony is a felony.
Unlawful Duplication of Computer Material – Class E felony
In the commission of many types of fraud or theft involving computers, important computer materials must be duplicated onto a separate computer device. Unlawful duplication of computer material will result in a separate felony charge when the offender is committing a felony using computers or attempting to commit a felony. It is also considered an unlawful duplication if the data is used for a financial an economic purpose and causes the owner to be deprived of or lose money that is more than $2500.
Criminal Possession of Computer Material – Class E felony
Criminally possessing computer material occurs when someone knowingly has computer material in their possession that was the product of an unlawful duplication with intent to benefit someone other than the owner of that material. This makes it illegal to buy, trade or otherwise receive illegal computer material from another person.