How Do You Tell Mail And Wire Fraud Apart?

Mar 03 2022

White collar crime exists as a separate entity from blue collar crime, primarily consisting of criminal activity that has to do with businesses, finances and other non-violent illegal activity.

Both wire fraud and mail fraud fall under this category. Both also have extremely similar penalties, definitions, and requirements for conviction. However, they still address two separate crimes.

Similarities between wire and mail fraud

The Department of Justice looks into elements of mail and wire fraud. First off, both of these crimes involve fraud in some way. The law defines acts of fraud as anything meant to unfairly separate a person from their assets or access to honest services through trickery or other underhanded means.

Both also hold harsh penalties, with wire fraud and mail fraud each netting a convicted person up to 20 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for businesses.

How to tell the two apart

The primary difference between the two crimes boils down to the way in which the fraud gets carried out in either case. With mail fraud, the fraud will involve the use of the USPS. It can involve packages, letters, postcards or anything else sent by mail.

Wire fraud, on the other hand, involves forms of digital communication. This can include telephone calls, emails, text messages, posts to social media sites, faxes and more. In today’s digital world, this form of fraud often has a higher rate of prevalence, though it was not always the case in the past.

Whatever form of fraud a person faces, the penalties are steep either way. Due to that, it is important for anyone facing such accusations to have a lawyer to help.

Recent Posts



Request Your Free Consultation

Fields Marked With An “ * ” Are Required

"*" indicates required fields


The Woolworth Building
233 Broadway
Suite 900
New York, NY 10279

get directions

Phone: 212-710-5166

Fax: 212-710-5162