Top Cybercrimes and What to Do If Accused

In recent years, the landscape of cyber activities has expanded dramatically, transforming how we work, socialize, and manage our finances. While bringing numerous benefits, this digital evolution has also led to an uptick in cyber-related offenses. According to reports, cybercrimes have surged, propelled by the increasing dependency on digital platforms and the internet.

Being accused of a cybercrime can be daunting and disorienting. It is crucial to remember that accusations are not convictions, and numerous legal defenses are available. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our goal is to help those accused understand their rights and the legal avenues that can lead to the resolution of their cases.

If you or someone you know is facing allegations of a cybercrime in Los Angeles. Contact us at (800) 462-7160.

An Overview of Top Cybercrimes

Cybercrimes have become one of the most significant challenges in our increasingly digital world. The FBI’s 2023 Internet Crime Report highlights the most prevalent cyber offenses. Here, we explore the top three categories of cybercrimes identified in the report: phishing, personal data breaches, and non-payment/non-delivery scams.


Phishing remains one of the most common forms of cybercrime, with 298,878 cases reported in 2023. This technique involves bad actors sending communications—such as emails or texts—that mimic legitimate businesses. The messages typically request personal or sensitive information, deceiving recipients into providing data that criminals exploit unlawfully.

Personal Data Breach

A personal data breach occurs when secure information is leaked from a protected location to an untrusted environment where unauthorized parties can access it. In 2023, 55,851 incidents of personal data breaches were reported. The leaks often lead to identity theft, financial loss, and long-term damage to business reputations.


The report also highlights the widespread issue of non-payment/non-delivery scams, with 50,523 incidents recorded last year. This type of fraud occurs when a buyer fails to pay after receiving goods or services or a seller does not provide the promised goods or services after receiving payment. Often, the products delivered are substandard, adding another layer of deception.

What to Do If Accused of a Cybercrime

Facing cybercrime accusations can be an intimidating and confusing experience. Understanding the steps you should take immediately to protect yourself and prepare for the legal process is crucial.

Immediate Steps to Take

When you become aware of an investigation or charges against you, take action to minimize or avoid mistakes that could hurt your case.

Some of the things you can do include:

  • Preserve evidence. Any digital evidence related to the accusation, such as emails, text messages, and logs, should be preserved carefully.
  • Limit communications. Do not discuss the case on social media or with anyone other than your attorney. Public statements can be misinterpreted or used against you in court.
  • Exercise your right to remain silent. You have the right to remain silent, and it is often in your best interest to do so until you have legal representation.

Understand Your Rights

The digital age has transformed many aspects of our lives, including how criminal activities are conducted and prosecuted.

However, the fundamental rights of the accused remain unchanged:

  • Right to remain silent. You are not required to speak to the police or investigators without a lawyer present.
  • Right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. Unless an exception exists, law enforcement officials must have proper legal authority, such as a warrant, to access your personal property, including digital devices and online accounts.
  • Right to an attorney. You have the right to consult with an attorney who can defend you against the charges and help navigate the complexities of the law.

Seek Legal Help

Cybercrime accusations require concentrated knowledge due to the technical nature of evidence and the intricacies of Internet law.

It is imperative to seek experienced legal counsel who can:

  • Analyze and interpret digital evidence. A defense attorney can scrutinize the digital data linked to the case to find exculpatory or mitigating evidence.
  • Consult with experts. Cybercrimes often involve complex technical details that require interpretation by experts. A knowledgeable lawyer will have connections to reputable specialists who can assist in building a case.
  • Strategize a defense. A lawyer can develop a strategy to present the case effectively based on the evidence and applicable laws.

Recognizing the intricacies of cybercrimes and the importance of a sound defense strategy is the first step toward navigating the complexities of the justice system.

Please schedule a consultation with Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP in Los Angeles by calling (800) 462-7160 or contacting us online.