According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the unauthorized use of any credit or debit card, card number, or ACH or EFT tool to obtain money or property that you would not otherwise be entitled to is considered credit card fraud. The FBI is responsible for investigating all cases of credit fraud and identity theft, including cyber crime and electronic fraud cases. As such, anyone charged with this crime needs to hire a reputable, experienced credit card fraud lawyer to help them fight their case.
Elements of Action in Fraud Cases
Charges of credit card fraud can be filed against anyone who:
-Falsifies information on a credit application to receive approval or a higher credit limit
-Uses someone else’s credit card or card number to purchase items or obtain cash
-Applies for credit in someone else’s name or using someone else’s social security number
-Uses their own expired, revoked, or overlimit cards to pay for transactions
-Sells services or goods to someone else who is using stolen credit card information
Although there are many instances that could constitute fraud, the basic premise of proof required is that a person is involved in the illegal or fraudulent use of credit in some way.
Types of Fraud
There are two general categories of fraud: account takeover and application fraud. Using another person’s information or false information to obtain a credit card or open a line of credit falls under application fraud, and can contain many specific types of transactions and fraudulent activities. Account takeovers, on the other hand, involve using false information or illegally using someone else’s information to gain access to an existing credit card account. Within these two categories, there are different types of events that constitute fraud:
Fraud spree: Making unauthorized charges on one or more credit accounts in someone else’s name. This could involve physical credit card theft, account hacking, or credit card number theft and use.
Identity theft: Stealing another person’s identification or assuming another person’s identity to commit crimes such as credit card fraud.
Identity assumption: Long-term use of someone else’s identification or financial information to obtain goods or money or to commit other crimes.
Regardless of what type of fraud you’ve been charged with, you need to make sure that you have a qualified credit card fraud attorney on your side.
Credit Card Fraud Penalties
Because this is a federal crime, the punishment can be quite severe. Those who are charged with credit card fraud could face up to 10 years in federal prison and fines of up to $10,000. That does not include any possible restitution that may need to be repaid to the person(s) whose credit card information was used.
The severity of the penalty will depend on a few different factors:
-Whether this was a first-time offense
-Single fraudulent transaction or event versus ongoing fraud overtime
-How much money was involved in the fraud
-How many people/fraudulent accounts were involved in the scheme or scam
Hire a Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Today
The way to ensure that you don’t end up facing huge penalties for credit card fraud is to hire an experienced legal team. Credit card fraud attorneys understand the strict laws and how to fight back against the federal government to get the outcome in your case. They have experience in handling all types of fraud cases, and might even be able to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely. Fraud is a serious charge and you need to make sure that you understand what you are up against. A reputable attorney will evaluate your case and help you decide on a defense that will give you the chance of getting the outcome that you deserve when you are facing credit card fraud charges.