While many businesses and individuals are worried about email scams, few consider the legal liabilities that could arise as a result. While falling for a scam could result in a relatively small loss, it could also leave individuals and businesses vulnerable to legal liabilities. This could be much more costly than the amount lost in the actual scam itself. This article will explain the types of legal dangers that email fraud can present today. One unique example is when a bank customer tried to fraudulently create documents and present them as emails from the bank he was trying to sue.

Identity Theft

Identity theft represents a broad range of possible fraud activities that can leave victims liable for damages that arise due to the actions of a perpetrator. Email is commonly used both to acquire information about the person’s identity and to impersonate an individual. In many cases of identity theft, it is unclear that the actual person is not the real perpetrator. If a criminal commits a crime in another person’s name, the victim could find themselves being subject to paying the consequences. This could result in fines or even an arrest for crimes that the person didn’t really commit. Since the crime was done in the victim’s name, it may be difficult to disprove criminal accusations if identity theft is done correctly. For this reason, it is absolutely critical that both individuals and companies protect themselves from identity theft derived from any channel, including email fraud.

Email Spoofing

Another common type of email fraud is an email spoofing attack. When this happens, the perpetrator sends an email using technical means to make the email looks like it was sent from a legitimate sender. This enables the perpetrator to send spyware, impersonate an individual or company, and conduct fraudulent activities anonymously. Many email applications provide users with tools to automatically detect spoofed emails. If a user is notified that an email might not be a legitimate by the email application, the email should be immediately discarded. While many perpetrators feel safe using these strategies, in many cases they could actually be caught because they have to give away their IP address. Many believe that proxies offer complete anonymity, but in fact they can actually serve to prove that crime was committed. Many proxy companies keep logs of the user’s activities and are able to recall records at a later date that prove that a fraudulent activity had taken place.


Another common type of email fraud is a phishing attack. In this case, an individual is sent an urgent email informing them to take immediate action. This email will redirect the user to a legitimate-looking website, where they will be asked to input personal information such as passwords or social security numbers. This information is then sent directly to the perpetrator who uses this information to conduct crime. For this reason, users should be wary of emails requesting tax information, social security numbers, or passwords.