It’s tough for startups and new businesses to begin building their presence online and through direct marketing. To build brand recognition and interest in the company, you can make phone calls, invest in a social media presence, and send outreach emails.

Often, these emails reach individuals and other businesses that are truly interested in your services or products, but you may inadvertently target uninterested parties. In these instances, you’ll probably receive a few complaints and requests to unsubscribe. These complaints could lead to broader action and in some circumstances, your business is suspected of a phishing scam, rather than legitimate business purposes.

What should you do when accused of a phishing scam under NY law and how can an NY criminal lawyer help?

#1: Learn More About the Phishing Laws

The state law on phishing scams makes it illegal to send deceptive or intentionally inaccurate emails, impersonate or replicate the information of a legitimate business in order to sell an illegitimate product, or use dishonest claims in emails or social media. All of these acts are criminalized under the NY laws on computer fraud and cybercrimes. These laws are found in Sections 156 and 165 of the NY Penal Laws.

You can’t build a successful defense to charges of a phishing scam without a good understanding of this statute.

Sometimes a legitimate and honest business can be caught up in sending promotions, sales pitches, and other information that starts to look too much like one of these illegal phishing scams. When this happens, the business owner should learn more about the phishing laws and what they regulate. You can turn to an NY criminal lawyer to help with this process and provide an explanation of the applicable statutes.

#2: Perform an Internal Audit of Your Marketing Practices

 If there is an investigation or accusation of a phishing scam related to your legitimate NY business, you should understand why. And you don’t want to wait for an investigator or NY prosecutor to gather all the evidence against you before you understand the reason for the charges. Rather, an early step you can take in your defense is gathering your own evidence of your business practices through an audit.

An NY criminal lawyer can help you arrange an audit of your emails, phone call, and other outbound communication. There are experts in the field that can provide feedback and best practices to measure against your marketing and sales strategy. You can also apply your new knowledge of the phishing laws in NY. As well, all of this can be done on a confidential basis, outside of the state or federal investigation.

#3: Change Your Immediate Marketing Tactics and Sales Pitch

After an audit of your marketing, you should immediately change your tactics and approach to marketing and outbound marketing. These investigations are rarely baseless or random. In most instances, a company has made confusing claims in an email campaign or sent emails to individuals that have specifically requested not to receive marketing materials and communication from the business.

When caught in the crosshairs of a possible phishing scam, your business should review its marketing and sales practices. Once a review is performed, you need to cease any outbound marketing practices that could be construed as a phishing scam. Even if you believe these actions to be entirely legal, an NY criminal lawyer should review the process and sales strategy before you continue the outbound marketing.

#4: Hire an NY Criminal Lawyer for Your Defense

The sooner you engage an NY criminal lawyer to fight phishing scam charges, the better for your business. Early representation by an experienced lawyer ensures you have less delay or hindrance to your marketing and sales, a better understanding of the laws, and a clear path to your defense strategy. You can also stay focused on your core business, rather than spend time on this ancillary issue.

Are you ready to work with a knowledgeable NY phishing lawyer for your defense? Contact the NY office of Koch Law. Our team has extensive experience with NY’s computer laws, computer fraud, identity theft, and phishing scams. You can reach our office by calling (844) 562-4529.


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