What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud is a broad term which can range from theft and fraud committed via the use of a credit card or a similar charge using any payment mechanism in a fraudulent manner. Individuals will commit credit card fraud for a number of reasons. The purpose may be to acquire goods without paying for them or to obtain unauthorized funding from a foreign account.
Credit card fraud is the use of a foreign party’s credit card without authorization. Credit card fraud is commonly held adjacent to identity theft. Typically when an individual commits credit card fraud they steal the same party’s identity to access the funds in the account.
When a credit card is stolen, it remains usable until the legitimate holder contacts and notifies the issuer (relevant bank or Credit Card Company) that card is lost. As a result of this function, credit card fraud is commonly committed when an individual steals or finds another person’s credit card.
That being said, credit card fraud can also occur when the violating party steals the holder’s card account information. Account numbers and verification codes are stored in a number of formats and with our increased reliance on computer-based technologies hackers and thieves have increased access to such information.
Credit card fraud is a mounting problem in modern day society. Numerous characteristics play into this prevalence. Merchants rarely check the identification of a card user and the number of formats which hold this information have increased and become streamlined through the Internet. Common forms of credit card fraud also include counterfeiting credit cards and fraudulently acquiring credit cards through the mail.
Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 1029, provides a list of all penalties associated with “fraud and related activities in connection with access devices.” The term “access devices” refers to any means of illegal account access, including PIN numbers, credit cards and account numbers.
What to do if you are Accused of Credit Card Fraud
State and Federal law enforcement agencies can investigate and prosecute any credit card fraud case. For more serious matters aligned with threats to the Government or country, the United States Secret Service possesses primary jurisdiction to investigate all threats of severe credit card fraud.
Credit card fraud, in all capacities, is a considered a felony. As a result of this classification, the punishments attached typically involve jail sentences and enormous fines. Because of the seriousness associated with the crime, it is essential to contact a criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one has been alleged to commit credit card fraud.