What Actions Can Lead to Charges of Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud and debit card fraud are forms of identity theft prohibited by both Texas law and federal law. There are many different types of actions that may lead to credit card fraud charges. A person may be charged with credit or debit card fraud for obtaining and using another person’s credit or debit card information, possessing devices or computer equipment used to steal card information, attempting to open an account with someone else’s personal information, and for many other acts. If you or a loved one have been accused of fraudulent use or theft of a credit card or debit card, this is considered a white-collar crime. Speak with a criminal defense attorney right away so that you can start building a strong defense against the charges.
Understanding Credit Card and Debit Card Fraud Laws
Often, credit or debit card fraud charges are the result of an individual allegedly using another person’s credit or debit card without his or her authorization. This may involve physical theft of the card or theft of the information contained on the card. Individuals may gain access to other people’s credit card or debit card information when institutions such as banks and retailers experience a major data breach. People may also use email or phone calls to scam people into giving over their credit card or debit card details. This so-called “phishing” typically involves a person or organization requesting sensitive information while pretending to be a legitimate company such as a bank. Credit card fraud can also be the result of a person finding bank statements or credit card statements in someone’s trash. Recently, devices called “card skimmers” have been used to capture card information when someone swipes his or her card at a gas station or ATM.
Credit card fraud charges can also result from an individual:
Using a counterfeit credit or debit card
Opening new accounts with stolen credit or debit card information
Making purchases with stolen credit or debit card information
Using someone else’s lost credit or debit card
Knowingly using a credit or debit card that is expired, revoked, or does not have the funds to cover the transaction
Producing, using, or transferring counterfeit access devices such as card skimmers
Possessing 15 or more counterfeit access devices
Criminal Penalties for Credit Card Fraud
Under Texas law, credit or debit card fraud is a state jail felony offense punishable by up to two years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. If the offense was committed against an elderly person, the charge may be elevated to a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Credit card fraud and debit card fraud are regularly prosecuted by the federal government as well. Under federal law, a person convicted of credit or debit card fraud can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. If it is the person’s second or subsequent offense, he or she can face up to 20 years of imprisonment.
Contact a Fort Worth Fraud Defense Lawyer
Fraudulent use of a credit card or debit card can result in significant criminal penalties. If you are facing criminal charges for fraud, you need an attorney who has the experience needed to ensure your rights are fully protected. Tarrant County criminal defense attorney Darlina Crowder has successfully obtained over 300 “not guilty” verdicts throughout her career. She and her dedicated legal team are equipped to represent individuals accused of a wide range of white-collar crimes, including internet crimes, forgery, fraud, and more. To schedule a free consultation at The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., call us today at 214-303-9600.