Today, criminals build fake websites, hijack Wi-Fi networks and place card skimmers in POS terminals to steal credit card information and perform unauthorized transactions and withdrawals. While this is the more common application of credit card fraud, there are other ways to commit the crime.
Types of credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is a type of identity theft that involves the illegal use of credit or debit cards to make unlawful transactions or withdrawals. There are three categories of credit card fraud in Georgia:
- Financial transaction card theft: This involves taking someone else’s credit or debit card, whether through theft or other means, to use or sell it without the cardholder’s knowledge. Financial transaction card theft may also apply if an individual buys a lost, stolen or forged credit or debit card.
- Forgery of a financial transaction card: This involves intentionally using a fake, altered, expired or stolen credit card number to pay for goods and services. The objective is to cheat the card issuer, the provider or others.
- Financial transaction card fraud: This involves knowingly using a credit or debit card without the cardholder’s consent to cheat or defraud others. It may also apply to businesses that accept fraudulent credit or debit cards or issue false credit card receipts.
Penalties for credit card fraud
A person suspected of credit card fraud could be subject to a felony, up to $5,000 in fines and one to three years in prison, depending on the crime and the amount stolen.
Given the seriousness of these charges, anyone accused of credit card fraud may consider engaging the services of a criminal defense attorney. When facing such a difficult situation, having legal representation can make all the difference.