What is Considered Federal Credit Card Fraud?

 Posted on June 10, 2024 in Federal Crimes

Chicago criminal defense lawyerCommitting credit card fraud is a significant crime that carries severe consequences. You could face hefty fines and extended imprisonment. An Illinois lawyer can help you understand what constitutes federal credit card fraud and the potential consequences for those convicted.

What Exactly is Federal Credit Card Fraud?

Federal credit card fraud occurs when an individual knowingly intending to defraud uses, attempts to use, or conspires to use a counterfeit, altered, forged, lost, stolen, or fraudulently obtained credit card. It also includes the unauthorized use of a credit card obtained through fraudulent means, such as identity theft. Credit card fraud is a federal charge when the fraudulent activity crosses state lines or international borders. For example, if you stole someone’s credit card in Illinois to make online purchases at a retailer in Florida, this turns into federal credit card fraud.

Types of Federal Credit Card Fraud

There are several ways in which credit card fraud can be perpetrated:

  • Counterfeit Cards: Creating fake credit cards using stolen account information.
  • Skimming: Using a device to steal credit card information during a legitimate transaction.
  • Phishing: Tricking individuals into providing their credit card information through fraudulent emails, websites, or phone calls.
  • Account Takeover: Gaining unauthorized access to an existing credit card account and making fraudulent charges.

Penalties for Federal Credit Card Fraud

The severity of the punishment for federal credit card fraud depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. Generally, penalties may include:

  • Fines: Substantial fines, often in the thousands of dollars.
  • Restitution: Paying back the victims for the losses incurred due to the fraudulent activity.
  • Probation: Supervised release with conditions such as regular check-ins with a probation officer and restrictions on travel and financial activities.
  • Imprisonment: Federal credit card fraud convictions can result in significant prison time, ranging from a few years to several decades, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.

Defend Yourself Against Federal Credit Card Fraud Charges

If you find yourself facing federal credit card fraud charges, make sure you seek the help of a criminal defense attorney in Illinois. A lawyer can help you through the complex federal legal system, protect your rights, and develop a solid defense plan.

Some common defenses against federal charge card fraud charges include:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that you did not knowingly or intentionally commit credit card fraud.
  • Mistaken Identity: Proving that you have been wrongly accused or that someone else committed the crime.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence and arguing that it does not meet the burden of proof required for a conviction.

Do Not Face Federal Charges Alone

Federal credit card fraud is a serious offense with potentially life-altering consequences. If you or a loved one is facing these charges, having an attorney by your side is important. Your attorney can help you gain an understanding of your charges.

Remember, being accused of a crime does not mean you are guilty. With the right legal representation, you can fight back against charges of credit card fraud at the federal level and work towards the best chances of an outcome for your case.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you have any questions or concerns about federal credit card fraud or other criminal charges, do not hesitate to reach out to a Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney for guidance and support. Call Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.

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