North Carolina has separate laws for handling wire and mail fraud. But due to similarities between the two crimes, it is easy to get the two mixed up.
Both of these crimes have their own penalties. But both penalties are often severe. You may end up affected if you ever face charges for either crime.
Cornell Law School lists the definition of mail fraud. According to them, mail fraud is an act of defrauding someone of property, money or assets. In some cases, you may defraud them of their right to good and accurate service. Whatever the case is, the crucial component is that you need to use the mail system to carry out this fraud attempt. You can use any sort of mail, such as postcards or packages. Also, it does not matter if you use the United States Postal Service or a private mail service.
Wire fraud shares the goal of defrauding someone. The main difference is that it takes place via electronics, or “over wire”, instead. This can include text messages, emails, faxes and phone calls. One major difference is that wire fraud has more restrictions. It only counts when communication crosses state lines. This means you could send your neighbor an email with the intent to defraud them. But it would not count as wire fraud because they are in your state. Mail fraud counts no matter where you send the mail.
Both crimes can result in jail time or fines for the convicted. Mail fraud carries heftier penalties. It is a felony due to the involvement of the mail system. But you should not take either charge lightly.