How Does Credit Fraud Happen?

What is Credit Card Fraud?

Electronic payments have become more abundant in recent years, opening the door to more criminal activity including credit card fraud. With approximately 1.5 billion credit cards within the United States, millions of people become victims of credit card fraud each year.

If you or a loved one is being investigated for credit card fraud or a criminal charge related to fraud and identity theft, you need to speak with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Credit Card Fraud in the Context of Federal Criminal Law

As defined under federal law, credit card fraud is the act of intentionally using a credit or debit card that has been stolen or counterfeited to make unauthorized purchases of goods or services. Credit card fraud also includes using someone else’s information to transfer funds, as well as possessing any equipment to make counterfeit cards.

Any type of credit card fraud can be prosecuted under state or federal law. The penalties and charges one will face for credit card fraud will varying depending on the situation and the severity of the crime. If the context of the offense involves interstate or foreign transactions or government agencies, it will be a federal offense.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

Types Of Debit Card Frauds in Columbus OH

There are several ways to commit credit card fraud, including:

  • Using a Stolen or Lost Card – A stolen or lost card is used to make transactions in stores, online, or over the phone.
  • Card-Not-Present Fraud – Credit card account information is used without the physical card to make purchases over the phone or online. In some instances, information is obtained by purchasing it on the dark web or through a phishing scam.
  • Credit Card Cloning – A skimmer is attached to a card reader to obtain full access to card data which is used to make a counterfeit card.
  • Application Fraud – A new credit card is applied for and obtained using other forms of stolen identity such as a name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
  • Mailbox Theft – A new card is shipped to the cardholder and is stolen from a mailbox.

Federal Laws and Penalties for Credit Card Fraud

If you are convicted of federal credit card fraud, you may face serious penalties such as large fines and prison time. The penalties may vary depending on your case; however, you will face 10 to 15 years in federal prison and monetary fines of up to $250,000 or double the amount of your gain from the offense. Furthermore, you may be responsible for restitution payments to the victim.

Defense Strategies for Credit Card Fraud

If you are facing federal credit card fraud charges, a skilled federal criminal defense attorney can help you achieve innocence and freedom by implementing one of several different strategies to prove your innocence depending on the specific circumstances of your case. The common defense strategies used for federal credit card fraud cases include the following:

  • Lack of Intent – Your federal criminal defense attorney may be use lack of intent to defraud as a strategy to prove that your alleged crime was committed unknowingly or unwillingly. If the prosecution cannot provide evidence to prove that you acted with intent they cannot convict you.
  • Reasonable Belief of Permission – In some cases, your federal criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that you had authorization to use the stolen card in question. For instance, perhaps you were given a card to be used solely for emergencies and you used it without proper communication with the cardholder which led to them filing a fraud report. This can be depicted as miscommunication and can be used in your defense.

Working With a Federal Criminal Defense AttorneyFederal Credit Card Fraud in Columbus OH

If you are facing a federal offense related to credit card fraud, you will need the skilled assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney, such as Steven S. Nolder Law Firm, LPA. Your attorney will look over the evidence against you and curate a strong defense to reduce the consequences of the charges. This may include negotiating a plea deal or alternative sentencing.

Get Legal Backing You Need for Your Credit Card Fraud Case

If you or a loved one is being investigated or charged for federal credit card fraud, you need the experienced legal backing of Steven S. Nolder Law Firm, LPA. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your credit card fraud case.