After experiencing a cyber crime, it can be overwhelming and frightening to navigate through the legal process. That’s where we come in. At Chiappetta Trial Lawyers, our team of experienced Florida cyber crime lawyers is dedicated to protecting your rights and seeking justice for those affected by internet crimes. Our skilled crime victims attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to providing you with strong, effective representation. Don’t let cyber criminals get away with their actions, let us fight for your rights.
- Cyber crimes involve computers, computer systems, and computer networks and may include unlawful access, identity theft, cyber defamation, and more.
- Florida enacted several laws to also address cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
- While restitution may be available in a criminal case, a civil cyber crime lawsuit filed with the help of a Florida lawyer may be the only way to recover all of your damages.
- Cyber criminals can include hackers, scammers, cyberstalkers and more.
- Phishing, or using a deceptive methods to obtain your personal information, is the most common cyber crime. Malware, or malicious software, is another common internet crime. These crimes commonly take place on social media platforms, emails, and messaging apps.
- Cyber crimes can lead to financial loss, emotional distress, and damage to one’s reputation.
- Taking immediate action after a cyber crime is crucial. In addition to saving what evidence you can, it is also advisable to call a Florida cyber crime attorney.
What Constitutes a Cyber Crime in Florida?
Cyber crimes are often referred to as “computer crimes” in Florida. They encompass a broad array of unlawful acts related to computers, computer systems, and computer networks. Those who engage in cyber crime are commonly known as “hackers.” Some prevalent hacking activities involve unauthorized use of email accoleg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfmunts, or unlawful access to computer networks, among other things.
According to the Florida Computer Crimes Act, these offenses are split into two main categories: crimes against intellectual property and crimes against computer users. The former deals with crimes involving unauthorized copying, distribution, or modification of software, while the latter covers offenses such as unauthorized access, data theft, and the introduction of harmful computer contaminants like viruses. Cyber crimes in Florida are serious offenses, and those found guilty may face severe penalties.
Florida Cyber Crime Statutes
The State of Florida has enacted several laws to combat cyber crimes. The Florida Computer Crimes Act outlines unlawful activities involving computers, including:
- Unauthorized introduction of viruses
- Unauthorized destruction of data, programs, and equipment
- Theft and distribution of trade secrets and confidential data
- Unauthorized access to a computer, system, network, or device
- Disruption or denial of a user’s ability to transmit data
In addition, the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act was established in 2020 to address the growing problem of cyberbullying in Florida’s public K-12 educational institutions. This Act defines cyberbullying and punishes any cyberbullying that occurs during school-related activities or on school equipment.
Lastly, Florida Statute 784.048 expands the definition of stalking to include cyberstalking. If someone is found guilty for a cyber crime listed in one of these statutes, it may be possible for the victim to receive restitution, which are payments made to the victim by the defendant for certain damages.
Florida cyber crime victims looking to recover all of their damages have legal recourse under state civil laws. Specifically, it may be possible to sue the perpetrators of a cyber crime under the tort of invasion of privacy or intentional infliction of emotional distress, among others. If the cyber crime involved identity theft or fraud, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act could be another avenue for compensation.
It is crucial to note that each case is unique, and the applicable laws can vary depending on the specifics of the cyber crime committed. To fully understand your rights and potential sources of compensation, we highly recommend consulting with a Florida cyber crime lawyer.
Types of Cyber Crime Our Florida Lawyers Handle
The attorneys of Chiappetta Trial Lawyers handle a diverse range of cyber crime cases, including but not limited to:
- Identity theft: Personal data is stolen and used without consent, often for fraudulent activities.
- Cyberstalking: Online harassment, bullying, or threats through digital platforms.
- Phishing scams: Scams that trick users into revealing sensitive information, often via fraudulent emails or websites.
- Credit card fraud: Unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or card number, to fraudulently obtain money or property.
- Data breaches: Protected or confidential data is accessed or disclosed without authorization.
- Malware attacks: Use of software to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
- Cyber terrorism: Utilizing the internet to conduct violent acts that threaten or cause harm.
Our team is ready to take on any cyber crime case, no matter how complex. Do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer if you suspect that you’ve fallen victim to a cyber crime in Florida.
Free Unless You Win
Find out if you can file a civil lawsuit after a cyber crime in Florida.
Who Are Cybercriminals?
Cybercriminals often operate behind screens, far removed from their victims. They exploit the anonymity offered by the digital landscape to engage in illicit activities. Common types of cybercriminals include:
- Hackers: Individuals who use their technical skills to break into computer systems, often with the intent of stealing, altering, or destroying information. They can work independently or as part of organized groups.
- Scammers: Operating under the guise of legitimacy, scammers employ a variety of tactics such as phishing to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information, or conducting transactions that benefit the scammer at the victim’s expense.
- Cyberstalkers: Individuals who use the internet to harass, intimidate, or terrorize individuals. Cyberstalking can include threats, unwanted contact, or spreading false information about the victim online.
- Cyber terrorists: Individuals or groups that use the internet to carry out acts of violence or disruption. Their activities often involve the use of malware or ransomware to target large systems or networks, including those belonging to governments or corporations.
Who Are the Victims of Cyber Crime?
Anyone who uses the internet has the potential to fall victim to a cyber crime. However, some individuals and entities are more frequently targeted due to the valuable data they hold or their vulnerability. Common targets of cyber crimes include:
- Individuals: Personal users often fall prey to identity theft, phishing scams, and cyberstalking. Criminals might target them for their financial details or personal data.
- Businesses: Corporations are a prime target for data breaches and ransomware attacks, particularly those handling sensitive customer information.
- Financial Institutions: Banks and other financial institutions are frequently targeted for their access to large amounts of financial data.
- Government Agencies: Government entities can be targeted in cyber terrorism attacks or data breaches seeking sensitive or classified information.
- Elderly Users: Older internet users are often targeted due to their lack of tech-savviness, making them susceptible to scams and fraud.
- Children and Teens: Younger internet users can fall victim to online bullying, grooming, and other forms of exploitation.
How Do People Become Victims of Cyber Crime?
Cyber criminals employ various strategies to lure unsuspecting individuals into their traps. One of the most common methods is phishing, where criminals send deceptive emails or texts that appear to be from reputable sources. The goal is to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, or login credentials.
Another method is through malware, or malicious software, that can be unknowingly installed onto your computer or mobile device through a suspicious download or link, giving criminals access to your data or control over your device.
Furthermore, cyberstalking or harassment can happen through social media platforms, emails, or messaging apps. Cyber criminals are crafty and continuously evolve their tactics to exploit new vulnerabilities.
Effects of Cyber Crime on Victims
The effects of a cyber crime can be severe and far-reaching. Consequences of cyber crimes include:
- Emotional impact: Victims of cyber crimes often experience stress, anxiety, and fear, especially in cases of cyberstalking or harassment.
- Financial loss: Identity theft and fraud can lead to significant financial losses. Victims may face unauthorized transactions, depleted savings, and damaged credit.
- Damage to reputation: In cases where personal information or images are leaked online, cyber crime victims can suffer harm to their reputation. This can, in turn, impact personal relationships and employment opportunities.
- Legal complications: If a victim’s stolen data is used in illegal activities, they may find themselves entangled in a criminal case.
- Loss of privacy: Having personal information exposed online can lead to a sense of violated privacy, making victims feel unsafe or exposed.
- Time and effort: Addressing the aftermath of a cyber crime often requires considerable time and effort. This can include changing passwords, closing or opening new accounts, dealing with credit bureaus and law enforcement, and more.
What to Do if You Are the Victim of Cyber Crime in Florida
If you find yourself suffering damages because of a cyber crime in Florida, immediate action is crucial. The steps you take – and how quickly you take them – can help minimize the impact of a cyber crime and maximize your chances of obtaining compensation. The first thing you should do is report the cyber crime to the proper authorities.
How to Report Cyber Crime in Florida
If you find yourself a victim of cyber crime in Florida, start by preserving any evidence related to the incident. This could include emails, receipts, screenshots, or anything else that might be of importance. Immediately report the incident to your local police department or sheriff’s office. Afterwards, visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Cybercrime Office to review common complaints and find guidelines relevant to your situation. Importantly, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center to notify federal law enforcement of the crime.
If you own a business and have suffered a cyberattack or data breach, follow the same steps. Florida law mandates that businesses must notify consumers of a data breach within 30 days. If the breach affects 500 or more individuals, you are required to alert the Office of the Attorney General, which can aid in investigating and mitigating the cyber incident. Remember, swift action can significantly help in resolving the issue and minimizing the damage.
File a Civil Lawsuit for Damages after a Cyber Crime in FL
If you have fallen victim to a cyber crime in Florida, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover your losses, regardless of whether the individual is convicted in criminal court. Firstly, gather all necessary evidence such as emails, text messages, bank statements, or any digital traces related to the crime. Consult with a Florida cyber crime attorney at Chiappetta Trial Lawyers, for guidance and advocacy throughout the legal process.
We can prepare a compelling case on your behalf, outlining the extent of your damages. These could include financial losses, emotional distress, and more. Next, we’ll file a complaint in a Florida court. The defendant will be served with a notice and have a chance to respond. If the case proceeds, both parties will gather further evidence during the discovery process, leading up to a potential trial.
Throughout this process, our cyber crime attorneys help ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Florida Cyber Crime Victim Lawsuit?
If you’re a victim of a cyber crime in Florida, seeking damages through a lawsuit can be a crucial part of your recovery process. The seasoned attorneys at Chiappetta Trial Lawyers can help you pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Financial losses: Any direct monetary losses suffered as a result of a cyber crime. This could include stolen money and expenses incurred to mitigate the effects of the crime.
- Emotional distress: The impact of cyber crimes often goes beyond financial. You may be entitled to civil compensation for the emotional distress caused by a cyber crime.
- Damage to reputation: If the cyber crime has resulted in harm to your reputation, you may be able to seek damages for defamation.
- Legal expenses: Costs associated with taking legal action, such as attorney fees and court costs, can be included in a damage claim.
The types of damages available can vary based on individual circumstances. Our Florida attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have about a potential cyber crime.
Significant Cyber Crime Cases in Florida
Florida has seen its share of notable cyber crime cases. For example, the 2020 Twitter Bitcoin scam led by a 17-year-old Tampa resident. The hack involved high-profile Twitter accounts like Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates, promoting a Bitcoin scam that swindled users for over $100,000. Another case involved a “Scareware” scam, operated by a group in Miami. The fraudsters created fake virus alerts prompting victims to purchase their software for virus removal, raking in over $100 million before being caught.
Additionally, a massive data breach at the University of Central Florida in 2016 exposed the personal data of nearly 63,000 students and faculty members. This case illustrated the vulnerability of educational institutions to cyber attacks. Altogether, these cases underscore the pressing need for robust cyber security measures and effective legal representation in the face of cyber crimes.
What is Florida Doing to Prevent Cyber Crimes?
Florida is taking proactive steps to thwart the efforts of cyber criminals. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit is a specialized unit dedicated to investigating cyber crimes and tracking down perpetrators across the state. They are equipped with advanced tools and technology to keep pace with the evolving digital landscape.
Additionally, Florida has implemented stringent cyber crime laws to deter potential criminals and provide victims with legal recourse. On the educational front, initiatives like the Florida Cyber Alliance promote cyber security awareness and help prepare individuals and businesses to better protect themselves against cyber threats. Lastly, public and private sectors are joining forces to improve the state’s cyber infrastructure, making it more resilient against potential attacks.
Cyber Crime Victim Support
Navigating the aftermath of a cyber crime can be stressful and confusing, and you should not have to face it alone. There are many programs for cyber crime victims and a multitude of cyber crime victim resources designed to provide you with the help and guidance you need. These resources are tailored to provide financial, legal, and emotional support:
- VictimConnect Resource Center: Offers confidential referrals for victims of cyber crimes to appropriate local, state, and national resources.
- Identity Theft Resource Center: Provides support to victims of identity theft and suggests strategies for recovery.
- Cyber Civil Rights Initiative: Aims to help victims of nonconsensual pornography through 24/7 crisis helpline, technical advice, and legal referrals.
- National Center for Victims of Crime: Provides a wide range of support to victims, including legal advocacy and resources for coping with trauma.
Remember, reaching out for support can be a crucial step toward recovery, empowerment, and justice. Do not hesitate to take advantage of these resources.
Florida Cyber Crime Lawyer: FAQs
What is the most pervasive type of cyber crime?
Phishing is the most pervasive type of cyber crime. This deceptive practice has been used against unsuspecting internet users since the dawn of the digital age. In fact, over half of online criminal activity is tied to phishing in some form. Cybercriminals have even tailored phishing to specific channels, creating more targeted versions of this deceptive practice. For instance, spear phishing zeros in on particular groups or roles within a company, while whaling targets top-level executives or the ‘C-suite.’
Other types of phishing include smishing, which involves sending fraudulent text messages, and vishing, where voice calls are used to trick victims. Regardless of the method, the ultimate goal remains the same: to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or gaining unauthorized access to systems. This is why it’s vital to stay vigilant, be aware of the signs, and keep your guard up when online.
Who is most targeted for cyber crime?
Businesses possessing valuable data often find themselves as prime targets of cyber criminals. Those with substantial assets, like credit card numbers or bank account information, are at heightened risk. Companies with valuable intellectual property may find hackers eager to pilfer trade secrets. Financial institutions holding personal and financial customer data are particularly vulnerable. Often overlooked, small to medium-sized businesses also find themselves on the radar of cyber criminals due lacking security measures.
What is the most frequent technique used by hackers?
Hackers often employ a multitude of techniques, with phishing and social engineering ranking high due to their effectiveness in tricking users into revealing sensitive information. Another common tactic is the use of Malware, malicious software, that can infiltrate systems and steal data or cause disruptions. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, aiming to overwhelm systems and cause downtime, are also common. Lastly, SQL injection, a method used to manipulate databases, is a common technique for cyber crimes, especially in attacks against businesses and websites. The array of techniques underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures.
Where can I file cyber crime complaint in Florida?
If you’ve been a victim of a cyber crime in Florida, you can report it to your local law enforcement agency. You can also submit a complaint to the Florida Attorney General’s Office or file a report with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. For crimes that have a national or international component, you can report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Additionally, consult with a Florida cyber crime lawyer with Chiappetta Trial Lawyers to help ensure you report the crime correctly and to the proper authorities.
Call a Cyber Crime Attorney in Florida Today
If you have been impacted by a cyber crime, you do not have to face it alone. Reach out to our Florida cyber crime lawyers today. With our wealth of experience, we are prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight for compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free legal consultation. Let’s take the first step toward your recovery together.