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Don't underestimate the online reach of the federal government

To the average computer user, the Internet may seem like something of an untamed landscape at least as far as the law is concerned. In other words, they may see the World Wide Web as exhilarating and useful, yet largely uncharted territory where the potential risk to the unsuspecting person is great and the reach of law enforcement is limited.

While some of this is perhaps true to a certain degree, it would prove to be a mistake to believe that law enforcement doesn't maintain a strong online presence.

Indeed, one needn't look any further than the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center -- or the IC3 as it is otherwise known -- for proof that the federal government is taking the threat posed by cyber crime incredibly seriously.

Started back in 2000, the IC3 provides a forum through which the public can submit concerns about possible computer crimes to FBI officials who then process this information for "investigative and intelligence purposes."

To gain some perspective on just how extensive the IC3's manpower and resources are, consider that statistics show that the center has processed over 3 million consumer complaints and seen more than 55 million visitors to its website from its inception through 2014.

While the primary focus of the IC3 is combating everything from identity theft and charitable fraud to counterfeit investment and phishing scams, it also devotes considerable effort into sharing its findings with state and local state law enforcement officials.

As encouraging as it may be to know that there are federal agents looking after your wellbeing online, it should also raise some concerns.

Indeed, as impressive and comprehensive as the tools available to the IC3 may be, mistakes can still be made and inaccurate information can still be passed on to the nearest authorities -- a reality that can result in the wrong person being charged.

In fact, this risk may perhaps be even greater here in Florida given that we recently came in at number two in the nation for complaints submitted to the IC3.

At the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., we represent clients at both the state and federal level, and, thanks to our considerable experience, we know how to manage thecomplexities of Internet crime cases. More significantly for you, we know how to build a strong and compelling case designed to uncover any mistakes made by law enforcement and prove your innocence.

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