What is Credit Card Fraud?
A form of identify theft, credit card fraud is on the rise in NJ and across the United States. It’s against the law for someone to fraudulently use a credit card to obtain goods, services, or steal money. In the past, credit card crimes were typically limited to a person physically taking your card and using it for their own benefit. Today, however, with so many technological advances, there are myriad ways of obtaining someone’s credit card information without ever having to touch the card.
Types of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card crimes typically happen in two ways — “card present” and “card not present.” These are exactly what they sound like. A “card present” crime means someone physically has the credit card; usually stolen. “Card not present” means the card doesn’t need to be in the hands of the perpetrator for fraudulent activity. Following are the more common types of credit card fraud.
- Stealing a credit card to make unauthorized purchases — thereby assuming the card owner’s identity
- Gaining unlawful access to card owner’s data to make unauthorized purchases, either online via hacking or by cloning the card
- Opening a new account using the card owner’s information
- Skimming — using an electronic device to read a card’s magnetic strip; typically used at ATM machines
- Copying a sales receipt
- Buying and selling credit card information on “underground” internet sites
If you’re charged with a credit card fraud crime, contact a credit card fraud attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense.
How a New Jersey Criminal Attorney Can Help
The penalties for fraudulent credit card use are harsh. N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6h states:
A person who knowingly uses any counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card to obtain money, goods or services, or anything else of value; or who, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, furnishes, acquires, or uses any actual or fictitious credit card, whether alone or together with names of credit cardholders, or other information pertaining to a credit card account in any form, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
In New Jersey, a third-degree crime can result in three to five years in prison. Your defense attorney will work with you to find out if you actually had criminal intent, unknowingly used a card, or if police followed improper procedures.
Credit Card Fraud Attorneys Defending Your Rights
With such serious consequences on the line, you need the best in criminal defense. To speak with a New Jersey criminal attorney immediately, call us toll free at 800.923.3456 or contact us online to discuss your legal matter today. Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq is ready to help.