Social engineering crimes involve the use of deceit in order to obtain a person’s confidential identification information. Often times, the scammer will employ a fake survey or other social study device that would lead the person to believe that the survey is real. This can occur through means such as:

  • Telephone calls
  • E-mail or other computer communications
  • Social media websites
  • Text messages
  • In-person interviews

Many different types of consumer fraud schemes involve social engineering plots. For instance, the suspect may open with a line such as, "We’re conducting marketing research, would you please supply your name and social security number?" They may even offer (fake) prizes or incentives for participation, when really their aim is to accomplish an overall identity theft.

Who Are Targets of Social Engineering Crimes?

Social engineering crimes can be perpetrated against anyone. However, many are often intentionally targeted at specific groups, such as:

  • Elderly persons (i.e., elderly identity theft)
  • Younger, less experienced consumers (such as first-time home buyers)
  • Persons with large amounts of property and assets
  • People who have many sudden expenses or legal issues, such as personal injury victims

A common social engineering crime is where the culprit visits a nursing home or an elderly care home. This person may interview an elderly person with a fake interview or survey and obtain the person’s information in that manner.

How Are Social Engineering Crimes Handled?

Social engineering crimes can lead to serious legal penalties for persons who are caught doing them. They can lead to charges that are classified as misdemeanors, which would result in jail sentences, fines, and other consequences.

In many cases, a civil lawsuit may result, especially if the scam caused the victim to lose a great deal of money or assets. This can result in a monetary damages award that will allow the victim to be reimbursed for their losses.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Social Engineering Crimes?

Social engineering crimes can sometimes be very complex and can take place on a very large scale. You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer if you need legal advice or if you believe that you have been affected by a social engineering crime.

Your attorney can provide you guidance for your claim and can help represent you during any court proceedings. Also, your attorney can help provide tips on how to prevent social engineering crimes from occurring in the first place.