Credit Card Fraud
The growth of online purchases and increasing concerns about carrying cash have led to more people using credit and debit cards. The popularity has not only led to more merchants accepting these forms of payment, but also instances of alleged fraud involving credit, debit, and gift cards.
18 U.S. Code § 1029 defines an access device as “any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier, or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument).” Because many online purchases involve crossing state or national borders, alleged offenses involving access device fraud are frequently subject to federal prosecution.Lawyer for Federal Credit Card Fraud Crimes in Miami-Dade County, FL
Do you think that you could be under investigation or were you arrested for any kind of alleged fraud involving a credit card or other access device? You will want to make sure that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman of The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients accused of federal white collar crimes in South Miami, Coral Gables, Aventura, Hialeah, and many surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 249-0090 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
North Miami Credit Card Fraud Information Center
- When can people be charged with access device fraud?
- Do people accused of credit or debit card fraud face other kinds of criminal charges?
- Where can I learn more about credit and debit card fraud?
Federal Credit Card Fraud Penalties
Several forms of fraud and related activity in connection with access devices are established under 18 U.S. Code § 10. An alleged offender could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 if he or she:
- knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses, or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices;
- knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics in or uses one or more unauthorized access devices during any one-year period, and by such conduct obtains anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during that period;
- knowingly and with intent to defraud possesses fifteen or more devices which are counterfeit or unauthorized access devices;
- without the authorization of the issuer of the access device, knowingly and with intent to defraud solicits a person for the purpose of offering an access device or selling information regarding or an application to obtain an access device;
- knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses a telecommunications instrument that has been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services; or
- without the authorization of the credit card system member or its agent, knowingly and with intent to defraud causes or arranges for another person to present to the member or its agent, for payment, 1 or more evidences or records of transactions made by an access device.
Under the same statute, an alleged offender could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 if he or she:
- knowingly, and with intent to defraud, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses device-making equipment;
- knowingly and with intent to defraud effects transactions, with 1 or more access devices issued to another person or persons, to receive payment or any other thing of value during any 1-year period the aggregate value of which is equal to or greater than $1,000;
- knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses a scanning receiver; or
- knowingly uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses hardware or software, knowing it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication identifying information associated with or contained in a telecommunications instrument so that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization.
It is important to note that attempts to commit any of the offenses listed above are subject to the same punishments. An alleged offender who is party to a conspiracy of two or more persons to commit any of the offenses listed above is subject to the same maximum fines but one-half of the maximum periods of imprisonment.
Federal Charges Related to Credit Card Fraud
When a person is accused of credit or debit card, it will often be one of multiple criminal charges filed by the federal government. Some of the other crimes that alleged offenders may be accused of in addition to fraud relating to access devices can include, but are not limited to:
- Bank fraud;
- Computer fraud;
- Email fraud;
- Identity theft;
- Mail fraud;
- Making false statements;
- Telemarketing fraud; and/or
- Wire fraud.
Florida Resources for Credit Card Fraud Offenses
18 U.S. Code § 1029 | Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices — View the full text of the federal statute governing credit, debit, and gift card crimes. The statute contains definitions of specific terms relating to the law and also procedures when an alleged offenders outside the jurisdiction of the United States. You can also learn more about forfeiture procedures in these cases.
Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud | Consumer Information — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides various types of information on this website to help people prevent themselves from becoming victims of credit card fraud. You can learn how credit card fraud happens, ways to keep your personal information secure, and what to do if you think you have been the victim of credit card fraud. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), consumers are protected from unauthorized use of credit, ATM, or debit cards if they are lost or stolen.
If you were arrested or believe that you might be under federal investigation for alleged access device fraud in Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation for help possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. The Hoffman Firm represents clients all over Miami-Dade County, including Opa-locka, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, North Miami, and several other nearby areas.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.