We were surprised anyone would be asking us this kind of question. The original question was “Is internet fraud sinful”, to which we simply responded “Is stealing sinful?”. And the person rephrased the question to the one above.
First of all, ‘everyone’ isn’t doing it. Only a number of people who’d rather not do any honest work are doing it.
Fraud, be it internet or otherwise is sinful. Usually mortally sinful. This is because, as is the case with internet fraud, it usually involves big amounts of money given on some level of trust to an individual under false pretenses. When you take money away from someone like this, it is tantamount to stealing. It is therefore mortally sinful.
The number of people who sin doesn’t make a sin less sinful or remove the guilt of the sin because it has become socially accepted as a good thing. The ultimate Judge is God. When you take from someone’s hard-earned money by force or with lies, you break a heart. Some people might slide into depression or even get suicidal. You are doing this online, you do not see or hear of the aftereffect of your actions so you feel like “it is not a big deal”. You cannot see the pains in the eyes of the person you defraud, neither can you hear stories of their tragic ends.
Even if you are taking money from a big company, who probably won’t feel the loss of the cash given you. It is still mortally sinful. Work, train yourself in some field and earn an honest living. If you want to turn your life around someday, you’d have to make restitution for all you’ve stolen which means, returning everything. Either to the people or (when you cannot find them), to charity.
Fraud of any kind is always morally wrong. Whether you’re selling substandard goods, doing false advertisement or you are taking from people who trust you. They’re all different shades of stealing.