Credit Identity Theft Liability: Who is Held Responsible for Losses?

 Posted on November 22, 2017 in Identity Theft

Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Whether someone discovers a credit card account has been opened up under their name that they never applied for, or find out their card number has been stolen and used for purchases they never authorized, dealing with any form of credit card identity theft is very troublesome for victims. It can be especially upsetting when the theft is discovered later on, after some time has passed, as the crime has, at that point, had time to accumulate and wreak significant damage on the victim’s credit report and accounts.

How Does Loss Liability Work?

Credit card crimes are not only distressing for the victim, they also wield the power to severely damage the reputation and livelihood of those found responsible for the acts, as they are seriously prosecuted under federal law.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends victims of credit card theft report the crime immediately, as The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offer a certain amount of protection. For example, under the FCBA, victims of fraudulent charges are only held liable for up to $50 in charges. For fraudulent transfers, however, the longer the victim waits to report the theft, the greater the risk they will be held liable for the loss - money they can never get back.

Here are some general guidelines for how credit card theft liability works once fraudulent charges have taken place:

  • After two business days or more, but less than 60 calendar days from the time the victim receives the statement, they are held responsible for a maximum of $500 worth of fraudulent damage.
  • If more than 60 days have passed after the victim receives the card statement, their maximum loss increases significantly. For example, they may lose the full amount of whatever was stolen from their accounts.
  • If unauthorized transactions are made on a credit or debit card that are still in the victim’s possession, the victim is not held liable for any of those transactions, as long as the fraudulent activity is reported within 60 days.

If you have been involved in some form of credit card-related identity theft, it is crucial to speak with a skilled Chicago federal criminal lawyer right away to inquire about your rights before you move forward with your defense. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today at 312-629-0669 for a one-on-one consultation.



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