This offense is considered as “white collar” crime and often is linked to finance and commerce. This is often performed through the use of stolen or lost credit cards to purchase goods and now there is an increasing trend of using the Internet to commit the fraud. The following are other ways that the crime of credit card fraud is committed:

• Counterfeiting an access device, such as a credit card, account number or personal identification number;
• Trafficking credit cards;
• Using an unauthorized credit card and purchasing over $1,000 in a twelve (12) month period;
• Possessing materials to counterfeit credit cards;

The federal law on the matter is Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, Section 1029 of the U.S. Code stipulates:

“(a) Whoever-(10) 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;
shall, if the offense affects interstate or foreign commerce, be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section.”

The penalties imposable are dependent upon the facts of the case and the criminal history of the accused. The penalties can go as high as twenty (20) years in prison as well as the payment of monetary fines.

Credit card fraud can also be committed even without the presentment of the actual credit card. This is done through transactions named as CNP or card not present and most of these transactions rely on the holder of the information on the credit card, regardless if the holder of the information is the true holder. Often, this is done over the Internet or the telephone and it is much more difficult for the merchant to determine the validity of the transaction to be charged on the card.

Another way of credit card fraud is through skimming. This is done with an insider with access to the credit card information of a legitimate holder. The information on the card is then copied unto another and misused for their personal benefit.

The credit card fraud is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.