As more and more people lose their jobs and other forms of income during the Covid-19 pandemic, they find themselves leaning more and more on their credit cards to make ends meet. Authorities are hyper-aware of the possibility of credit card fraud – leading to possibly bad credit card fraud charges against unsuspecting individuals.
If you find yourself facing credit card fraud charges from tightly wound law enforcement agencies during the pandemic, then remember:
Basically, credit card fraud is a form of identity theft that occurs when someone uses another’s credit card without their consent.
Credit card fraud can occur with the physical card used to make purchases, or with just the credit card number stolen from unsecured websites and sold for use by others.
Many of credit card fraud cases occur online. Internet and computer use across state-lines for alleged fraudulent activity means that federal as well as state prosecutors may become involved with credit card fraud charges.
5 Possible Credit Card Fraud Criminal Defenses
Those confronting credit card fraud charges need to remember that a charge isn’t a conviction! There’s still an opportunity for their side of the story to be told before a court, and a credit card fraud lawyer can help enforce that right.
Many criminal defenses hinge on the exact charges themselves. For credit card fraud charges to stick, the “fraud” must have been committed by someone whose purpose was to intentionally and willfully trick a person or business out of money, property, or services under false circumstances.
Therefore, possible defenses to criminal credit card fraud charges may include:
Mistaken Identity – As most credit card fraud occurs over the internet, a hasty investigation may have led law enforcement to the wrong person, especially if the individual shares a name or other personal information with the top suspect.
Misunderstanding – The accused believed they had permission to use the credit card at the time of the “fraudulent” purchase, thus not fulfilling the intent portion of the fraud charge.
Lack of Intent – Similarly, legal fraud cannot happen accidentally. While ignorance of the law is not an excuse, those who performed seemingly fraudulent acts without reasonable understanding may be able to have their charges adjusted or dismissed.
Insufficient Evidence – The prosecution bears the burden of proof, and legally obtained proof, at that. Therefore, if there is not enough proof, then your credit card lawyer can move to have your case dismissed.
Consent – Those with permission to use the card for the disputed charge cannot, by definition, commit fraud. Misunderstandings and faulty memories often lead to mistaken fraud charges!
Of course, these possible defenses are just possible ways a credit card lawyer might approach their client’s defense. Only your lawyer can say for sure which – if any! – would be the best in your specific circumstance.
Credit Card Frauds Punishment & Penalties
Types of Maryland Credit Card Fraud Charges, Fines, & Jail Time
Type of Credit Card Fraud
Misdemeanor or Felony
Maximum Possible Fine
Maximum Possible Prison Sentence
Credit Card Theft
Taking or receiving another’s credit card without their consent with intent to use or sell fraudulently
Keeping a mistakenly sent credit card that you know wasn't meant for you
Buying or selling a credit card not belonging to you.
Getting a card you know was gotten illegally
Credit Card Counterfeiting
Making a credit card and using it as "real" without the issuing institution's permission
Signing a card for your use that you know was meant for someone else
If you find yourself facing down any type of credit card fraud charges, please reach out to our Firm for a free initial consultation. We’ll listen to your situation, offer possibilities of how a defense may be mounted, and prepare you for the road ahead if you choose to retain JC Law.
Whatever happens, we can help you see a way through the charge to get back to your normal, everyday life.