Credit card fraud is a serious offense that can result in federal charges. You could receive much higher penalties than you would for a state-level conviction.
Individuals should understand the possible actions leading to credit card fraud charges and associated legal consequences.
Common types of federal credit card fraud
You can receive federal fraud charges for unauthorized use of someone else’s credit card information, whether you buy something or take money out without permission. This category includes both online and physical theft of their financial data.
Federal charges also arise for making counterfeit credit cards or changing existing cards. Some people use information from legitimate accounts to create fake cards so they can make deceptive transactions.
Application fraud makes up a third category of charges. This offense involves using a false identity or fake information when you apply for a credit card.
Identity theft charges may result from federal credit card fraud. Often, offenders use someone else’s personal information for fraudulent applications or counterfeit cards. This can result in a separate federal charge. About 1.1 million Americans reported identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in 2022.
Common penalties for federal credit card fraud
Conviction for federal credit card fraud can result in a substantial prison sentence. The length depends on factors such as the extent of the fraud, the amount involved and aggravating circumstances.
Fines are a common consequence of federal credit card fraud convictions. The court can also require you to compensate others for their financial losss. Restitution ensures reimbursement for their damages. Conviction for federal credit card fraud may lead to the forfeiture of assets gained through fraudulent activities.
In some cases, a court may opt for probation as part of the sentencing. During probation, individuals must adhere to specific conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, to ensure compliance with the law.
Federal credit card fraud encompasses various deceptive actions, from unauthorized use to identity theft. Understanding the gravity of these consequences could help you make informed choices when facing the legal system.