In an increasingly electronic and virtual society, the rise of credit card fraud has been significant. If you have been charged with such a crime, you’ll need to retain the services of an experienced credit card fraud attorney as soon as possible, because the consequences can be severe.
There are many different types of offenses a person can be charged with in relation to credit card fraud.
Possession of a credit or debit card – A person does not need to be in actual possession of another person’s credit or debit card to violate criminal statutes. Simply having possession of the card number without the owner’s permission may be enough to be charged. Also, the card or the card number does not need to be physically found on a person to be charged either. If the card or information is found in an area that the person has control over (an apartment or a car, for example), then they can also be charged.
Stealing or receiving a stolen card – If a person takes control of another person’s card without their consent, they can be charged with a crime. This can include taking a card out of a wallet or removing it from a person’s home, as well as taking it directly from a person. It is also illegal to receive a card with the knowledge that it has been obtained without the holder’s consent. So if another person steals a card and turns it over to you, and you know it is stolen, you can be charged with a crime as well. The key here is knowing the card was stolen as opposed to unknowingly accepting a card or card information as payment for goods and services.
Possessing a card with intent to defraud – If you steal a card, a prosecutor must be able to prove that you intended to use the card fraudulently. If you are simply in possession of a card, and it can’t be proven that you intended to use if fraudulently, or you did not know it was stolen, you can’t be convicted of intent.
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