In today’s world, most people own at least one credit or debit card, and many people own multiple cards. According to the American Banking Association, there were 364 million credit card accounts open in the United States in 2017. Though new technology is always being developed to prevent credit card fraud, it is still an issue. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that around 42 percent of all identity theft complaints are related to credit card fraud. Credit card fraud is a serious crime in Illinois and can result in criminal charges, which are commonly felony charges. Many people do not know that credit card fraud comes in many forms. Here are four types of credit card fraud and the consequences for committing them:
1. Making a False Statement to Procure a Credit Card
You can be charged with credit card fraud if you lie about certain details on a credit card application. Typically, those who are charged with this type of credit card fraud use another person’s name or social security number to apply for the credit card. Sometimes people also lie about their address or employment on applications, which can also earn you a fraud charge. This type of credit card fraud is a Class 4 felony, which carries one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
2. Possession of Another Person’s Credit Card
A credit card holder must give consent before another person can legally use that card. If you have obtained a credit card from another person who is not aware that you have the card or did not give consent for you to use it, you can be charged with credit card fraud. This type of credit card fraud is classified as a Class 4 felony. If it can be proven that you possessed three or more credit cards that were not yours, you can be charged with a Class 3 felony, which carries a sentence of two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
3. Using an Invalid Credit Card
If you use a card that is not technically valid, you can be charged with fraud. An invalid credit card includes one that is counterfeited, forged, expired, revoked or unissued. If the items obtained with the credit card are valued at less than $300, then you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. If the items are valued at $300 or more, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony.
4. Using Your Credit Card to Defraud the Issuer
You can also be charged with credit card fraud even if you use your own credit card—if you intend to defraud your financial institution. For example, if you falsely report a charge as unauthorized, it could be considered an attempt to defraud. You can also be charged with this if you allow another person to use your card with the intent to defraud your financial institution. The charges can be either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, depending on the value of the goods purchased with the credit card.
Contact a Knowledgeable Will County Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney Today
Not all cases of credit card fraud are intentional — some people do not even realize they are committing fraud. If you have credit card fraud charges against you, you need help from an experienced Joliet credit card fraud defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you form an effective defense against any fraud charges brought against you. Attorney Jack Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor and knows firsthand how these cases are handled. Contact our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.