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Online theft a modern concern

The holiday season has begun, and Georgia residents might be among the millions of Americans who have a little extra shopping to do in the coming weeks. This time of year, many people are planning to buy gifts for loved ones, ingredients for a special meal, or are hunting for a bargain on a big purchase, like a vehicle or home appliance. These days, many people turn to the internet for shopping, but many might not be aware that a person can be charged with theft for online activities. 

Some people avoid brick and mortar retail, especially during the holiday season when stores are often crowded and might run out of popular items. Shopping online is convenient, and many retailers allow the use of coupons or gift cards for online purchases. It may be tempting for shoppers to try a “hack” or “cheat” to save money, but some of these seemingly legitimate methods are against the law. 

It can be difficult for the average person to distinguish between legitimate offers and illegal scams. A few tips can help prevent being accused of online theft or fraud. Experts warn that many third-party apps can be a front for online theft. Even if it looks safe, it is best to stick to apps that come from a legitimate app store, like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. If a website claims to be able to generate a gift card or digital funds without paying, it is probably a scam that can get a user in big trouble. 

Being charged with a theft crime can be scary. If a person is accused of theft or fraud in Georgia, he or she may want to prepare a defense for court. In many cases, it is advisable to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can help a client prepare for a court appearance, and help ensure that a verdict is based on the facts of a case, because an accusation alone is not an indication of guilt. 

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