I once saw an advertisement in some online sites. It basically says, call this number so we can help you with your purchase.

Say Alice sell something at Bob's Marketplace.

Now, Eve, put an ads in comment section. Anyone can do this actually. However, potential buyers that are not careful probably don't see that and think that the message is genuine. They think if it's not genuine than Bob's must have deleted them. Bob usually do that but often too late.

Contact me at Eve's number for faster customer service.

Eve is fraudulent. She doesn't work for Bob.

Say Charlie saw Eve' ads in comment section.

What happens is, if someone whatsapp Eve, Eve will say they have items and will sell it at below market price, and ask for Charlie to transfer money to Eve's account.

Eve will say things that's obviously a lie. Eve will say she works for Charlie, she will say she has items she doesn't have, the bank accounts may be real but most likely fake.

What will happen is, if Charlie send money to Eve's account, Charlie won't get anything.

Eve is fraudulent.

It's like buying stuffs from eBay. If you use eBay system you can complain if you don't get your item and eBay would refund your money.

However, Eve is not a seller at eBay. Eve is just someone that comment on Bob's market place and make it look as if she works for Bob.

Eve tries to induce Charlie to send money to Eve's account. Once the money reach Eve's account, Eve will withdraw it, empty the account, and run. In Indonesia, criminals often have fake bank accounts.

However, Charlie is smart. He knows Eve is lying.

So he doesn't send money.

Instead Charlie reports Eve's to cops.

Will the cops arrest Eve?

Someone told me that if Charlie didn't rely on Eve's statement, then no fraud occur yet. So Eve didn't commit any crime. Eve commit any crime only if Charlie is defrauded.

The thing is Eve is pretty much law proof.

If Charlie is dumb, Eve got money.

If Charlie is smart, then Eve doesn't commit any crime.

How would your jurisdiction handle cases like this?

If this is a murder case it's easy.

Eve put poison in Charlie's drink. Charlie doesn't drink. Eve is still guilty of attempted murder. But what about if Eve tries to defraud Charlie?

1 Answer 1


This is going to vary based on jurisdiction.

In Wisconsin, the attempt statute covers all felonies, but it doesn't cover all misdemeanors. The statute says:

Whoever attempts to commit a felony or a crime specified in s. 940.19, 940.195, 943.20, or 943.74 may be fined or imprisoned or both as provided under sub. (1g),

943.20 is in that list, and it just so happens to be the theft statute, which includes theft via fraud. So Eve is out of luck - her attempted theft is a crime, even if she doesn't try to steal the $2500.01 needed to trigger a felony. The penalty listed for attempts is half the sentence you'd get for the completed crime.

But even if this wasn't covered by the attempt statute, once the police start investigating Eve, they'll likely find a victim, or some other crime to charge her with. People who do this sort of thing tend to have a pattern of doing this sort of thing. And I notice she's using the Internet to commit the crime; that means she's involved in systems affecting interstate commerce, and she may be breaking all manner of federal laws in addition to state laws.

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