Credit card fraud sounds like a crime that only crime syndicates do, and they usually are. However, there are certain activities that ordinary civilians do with someone else’s credit card where they may unknowingly break the law. Unfortunately, credit card fraud is a serious crime whether you did it by accident or intentionally. A conviction could result in legal consequences.
What is credit card fraud in Florida?
In Florida, credit card fraud is a serious crime involving using a fake, forged or illegally obtained credit card to obtain money, goods, services or any other value item. It is also illegal to falsely claim to be a cardholder.
Penalties for credit card fraud can either be a misdemeanor or felony, resulting in jail time, probation and hefty fines.
How does a person accidentally commit credit card fraud?
Using someone else’s card without permission or a fake credit card seems straightforward enough. Yet, many seemingly harmless activities can be enough to incriminate an individual. The following activities may constitute fraud:
Lying on credit card application
Banks want to ensure that customers with credit card accounts are eligible. Individuals seeking quick approval or attaining a higher credit limit might attempt to embellish their application. Some common tactics include overstating earned income, falsifying employment, and lying about dependents.
Using fake credit cards to sign up for free trials
There is an abundance of free trials and services available out there, but most require putting down credit card information before use. This could tempt individuals to use fake credit card information generated by shady websites.
In an ironic twist, the fear of being charged or a victim of credit card theft may drive people not to use their own credit card information and commit fraud themselves. Despite being seemingly harmless at first glance, using false credit card information to acquire goods or services is, in fact, a violation of the law.
Trying to pass off own purchases as fraud
Chargeback fraud occurs when a customer purchases using their credit card and then falsely reports it to the issuing bank as an unauthorized transaction. Normally, the bank reimburses the customer and charges the retailer instead. Chargeback fraud costs retailers billions of dollars yearly, so they may be compelled to take action against those responsible.
To avoid penalties when confronted with legal action, it may be essential to have a solid grasp of the law and obtain the support of an attorney.