4 Types of Federal Credit Card Fraud 

 Posted on January 11, 2022 in Fraud

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_567634105.jpg Credit card fraud can be a crime carried out on a large scale. Some criminal organizations work to steal information from hundreds or thousands of people at a time, often casting a wide net with some type of online scam. However, in other cases, credit card fraud can be charged based on a single incident of using a credit card you had physically in your possession, but without its owner’s permission. Regardless of the facts alleged, credit card fraud is an extremely serious charge that can lead to 10 years in federal prison if you are convicted. It is important that you speak with a qualified attorney as soon as you know you have been accused. 

What Actions Could Be Considered Credit Card Fraud?

Like many federal criminal statutes, credit card fraud laws cover an extremely wide range of conduct ranging from the decidedly malicious to the perhaps innocent. In some cases, the defendant and the alleged victim know each other. In others, the fraud was part of a larger pattern of crime. Types of credit card fraud include: 

  • Skimming - A device that records credit card information is surreptitiously placed in the credit card strip reader at a place of business, often a gas station. Victims use their cards as normal, and their information is collected by the fraudster. Using such a device generally shows a pretty clear intent to commit large-scale fraud. 

  • Application fraud - This is also a form of identity theft, in which the perpetrator steals the victim’s personal information in order to open a credit card in their name. This crime is often (but not always) carried out by someone who knows the victim personally. Uncertainty can arise when it is not clear whether a family member or close friend may have been instructed by an elderly or disabled person to open an account on their behalf.

  • Card-not-present fraud - This catch-all term refers to any fraudulent use of a credit card not in the physical possession of the person using it. It is the most common form these days, with the prevalence of online transactions. 

  • Card theft - Physically stealing a credit card is rarer and rarer, as cards can be canceled by the victim very quickly, often before the thief has time to make any significant purchases. This type of fraud is more likely to occur when someone uses a credit card belonging to a friend or family member without permission. This could be completely accidental in some cases, but it could also be done intentionally. 

Because intent is such an important element in fraud, these charges can be difficult to prove and difficult to defend. It is best to contact an attorney as soon as you are aware of the allegation, even if you believe you did nothing wrong. 

Call an Illinois Federal Credit Card Fraud Attorney

If you have been accused of federal credit card fraud, Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can help you begin building a defense. Our Chicago federal credit card fraud lawyers are experienced at handling all types of fraud cases in the federal criminal justice system. Call our office at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation. 



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