In Michigan, like most states in the U.S., some laws penalize credit card fraud. Some states consider the crime like identity theft – depending on how the act was done. If you are facing charges for fraud, then getting a Michigan-based lawyer who specializes in credit card fraud is the best idea. The matter should be handled immediately as consequences for the crime can be severe.
In 2016, 1,294,094 cases of credit card fraud were listed in the U.S. alone. Michigan state itself has the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints. The most common point of contact is through phone and e-mail, leaving information digitally exchanged as vulnerable. Cases of credit card fraud include possessing, using, forging for the use, and even receiving unauthorized credit cards.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud merely is stealing or using another person’s credit card without proper authorization. It becomes identity theft because you are pretending to be someone else for a specific purpose, usually to extort money. These involve removing funds from the card and making purchases.
Authorization for the use of credit cards should come from the card’s respective bank or authorizing agency.
How to Know Credit Card Fraud was Committed
Whether you’re a victim or charged with credit card fraud, you may not be aware that it has been committed. It can happen with credit card and debit card owners.
- Dishonestly taking, acquiring, using, selling, buying, signing, or forging another person’s credit or debit card and information (card number, personal identification number or PIN)
- Using someone’s gift card without their permission
- Using another’s information to make your credit or debit card
- Altering someone’s credit or debit card
- Using a card knowing it doesn’t have enough money for the purchase, has expired or been revoked by the bank
- Selling to someone knowing his/her credit/debit card is used fraudulently
If you have a credit or debit card not lawfully given to you by a company, bank, or credit provider, then you are committing credit card fraud and can be charged and arrested.
Additionally, there are cases of fraud spree, where excessive amounts of money are spent through fraud credit or debit cards. People who commit fraud spree would use multiple accounts and perform the crime as a serious profession.
How Do I Get Sued for Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card or debit card fraud is a felony and a serious offense. States have different laws regarding the crime – the penalties for the offenses vary. Their interpretations also differ between being credit card fraud or identity theft.
Federal Law includes fraud as a crime as well. Since federal laws cover the country, it applies to all.
Consequences for credit and debit card fraud are fines with a maximum of $10,000 and or imprisonment of more than ten years, depending on the gravity of the offense. The following clauses included in the law:
- 15 U.S.C. § 1644 – regarding fraudulent credit cards
- 15 U.S.C. §1693n – regarding fraudulent debit cards
- 18 U.S.C. §1028 – regarding fraudulent identity
State Laws in Michigan For Credit Card FRaud
There are sections under the Michigan Penal Code (MPC) that can be used to charge you with credit card fraud. The following sections describe those guilty of a felony:
- MPC Section 750.157n – those who steal, take, keep, use, and knowledgeably remove financial transactions of someone else’s card.
- MPC Section 750.157p – those who have someone else’s card with an intention to use, deliver, or sell it without the owner’s knowledge.
- MPC Section 750.157r – those who have an intention to defraud, forge, alter, simulate, or counterfeit a card.
- MPC Section 750.157s – those with an intention to defraud and knowingly use an expired or revoked card may be guilty of a misdemeanor or felony (depending on criminal record).
- MPC Section 750.157w – those who have an intention to defraud and use a card for access to money beyond the contract with the bank or card company.
The cards indicated in the Michigan Penal Code are those which are used to access someone’s finance for money, goods, or services.
These felonies’ sentences can range from the amount or value of the good or service. The greater the value, the higher the charge and conviction. Costs less than $1,000 are charged as a misdemeanor while those more than $1,000 are considered felonies.
Consequences include incarceration (imprisonment), fines (usually the amount stolen), and restitution on top of penalties. Repercussions can extend into your reputation and affect your career.
Have you been accused of Credit Card Fraud?
Using someone else’s credit card by mistake or accepting a fraudulent credit card cannot be considered grounds for a felony. The defense usually involves proving that you are not guilty because you were not knowledgeable at the time.
The Clark Law Office will give you the best case for defense. Contact our Lansing criminal defense attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Call us at (517) 347-6900 or fill out the form on the side.