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Wire fraud vs. mail fraud: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2023 | Fraud

Fraud is a type of white-collar crime that encompasses a variety of diverse situations and behaviors but has a single general meaning. Fraud is defined as intentionally deceiving someone with the purpose to deprive someone of their money, property or legal rights. 

Each sort of fraud entails distinct consequences. For example, there are clear distinctions between wire and postal fraud in terms of both the associated fines and how the courts see them. Here’s what you should understand:

What is wire fraud?

The primary distinction between wire fraud and mail fraud is the method by which the alleged offenses are carried out. Wire fraud is done by using a phone or computer to carry out a scheme to fraud others. For instance, someone conducting wire fraud could send texts to random phone users informing them that they have won a prize, typically cash, and instructing them to click on a link for further information. 

In order for the fraudster to access the user’s personal information, this link frequently installs spyware or malware on the user’s phone. Furthermore, the victim may provide private information such as routing numbers or Social Security numbers.

What is mail fraud?

Mail fraud is a lot more physical than wire fraud, but there are many similarities. Fraudsters may, for example, mail fake cash-giving competitions. They may use the U.S. postal service to swap fake gift cards or checks. Essentially, mail fraud is associated with any kind of fraud sent by mail.

The majority of the time, proving fraudulent intent is what makes or breaks a mail fraud case. The same is true with wire fraud, which has a lot of legal parallels to mail fraud. Wire and mail fraud are both federal crimes and may carry out similar penalties. If you’re facing potential charges, it’s only wise to explore your defense options.