Fraudulent false advertising involves the creation of print or electronic ads that are used to further a criminal scheme by soliciting potential victims into buying fictitious or defective products or join in schemes to defraud or other attempts at inducing illegal behavior. False advertisement can occur either through the strategic placement of ads or solicitation through the print and the Internet. This can include spam emails and the spoofing of legitimate advertising to redirect to a different website.
Fraudulent advertising has a number of functions, generally involving false or claims to coordinate fraud. Most of these false claims will lead to civil claims for fraudulent activity. Interstate schemes to defraud will be counted as criminal conspiracy as well as wire or mail fraud depending on the tools used to perpetrate the fraudulent false advertising.
Fraudulent advertising has been used in a number of tax scams as well, generally to lure unsuspecting “straw men” into participating in schemes to defraud the government using fraudulent tax returns.
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