Identity and Credit Card Theft Charges

January 11, 2016

As we begin to recover from the Christmas Holiday and ring in the New Year let’s continue on the topic of identity, credit card theft and credit card fraud. In our last Legal Corner session we discussed in some detail theft and fraud and what options you may have if you unfortunately become a victim. This week in the Legal Corner we will discuss some of the criminal charges associated with check and credit card theft, and the consequences. In North Carolina, there are charges of credit card theft, fraud, and forgery.

A defendant could be found guilty of financial transaction card theft if one of the following occurs. If her or she takes or withholds the financial card of another person, without the cardholder’s permission, with the intent to use the card, sell the card, or transfer the card to a third party. When a person receives a financial card that he or she knows has been stolen or mistakenly delivered or mailed from a financial institution, and intends to use, sell, or transfer the card to another person could also be found guilty of financial transaction card theft. Any person that uses a scanning device to read or access another person’s financial card number or encoded information with the intent to defraud the cardholder.

A defendant could be found guilty of forgery of a financial transaction card if one of the following occurs.   If he or she creates or falsely makes a credit card with the intent to issue the card to a third party for their use or in order to defraud any person that provides money, goods, or services.  When a person falsely encodes, duplicates, or alters the existing encoded information on a financial card with the purpose to defraud the user or any person that provides money, goods, or services.

A defendant could be found guilty of financial transaction card fraud when one of the following occurs. If he or she knows that they are receiving and actually uses the financial card without the cardholder’s permission in order to obtain money, goods, or services. Moreover, the cardholder could also be found guilty of financial transaction card fraud if he or she falsely reports to the issuer or any third party that the financial card is lost or has been stolen.

In North Carolina, each of these charges are considered felonies and therefore could involve serious punishment. Depending on the defendant’s criminal record, the punishment for these type of charges could include supervised probation or an active jail sentence. Additionally, the defendant could also be required to reimburse the money thatwas fraudulently taken by using the financial cards.

Unfortunately, when your identity has been stolen, it takes time to completely repair the damages and correct and clear all errors on your credit report. It is always important to be patient, and most importantly keep a record of all the calls that you make and any documents you may file. Moreover, in most cases the victim can pursue criminal charges against any person that obtains and uses their financial information without permission.  Be Informed. Be Prepared.

Bellonora McCallum

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