Credit card fraud is an unauthorized use of a credit card by a fraudster. The fraud covers any unauthorized acts such as creating counterfeit cards, collecting cards’ numbers and information without permission, stealing cards, using PIN numbers and so on. Fraudsters use many tricks to commit credit card fraud, such as fraudulent usage of emails, phishing on the Internet and stealing credit card information from restaurant or club.

This article will tell you about the types of fraud, the law for this fraud, penalties, and the ways to protect yourself if you become a victim of credit card fraud.

# Types of credit card fraud

These days, fraudsters are very daring and running their fraudulent activities everywhere. There are different kinds of credit card fraud that are considered as criminal actions.

1. Stolen card fraud

This fraud happens once your card is lost and stolen. The criminal can use your card and make illegal charges on your account.

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2. Account takeover

The fraudster can take over your account. He/she uses your personal information such as a relevant document and address proof to opt for a new credit card. The fraudster then informs the credit card company to replace the card’s details.

3. Doctored cards

It occurs when the criminal erases the metallic stripe on your card using a strong magnet. The card will not work anymore. Thus, the criminal gets the card details from the merchant manually.

4. Debit card fraud

Debit card fraud is similar to credit card fraud. In this type of fraud, the imposter uses the card to withdraw funds from a bank account.

5. Card skimming

Card skimming is the most rising problem that attacks ATMs, restaurants and retail shops. The fraudster steals the data of your card using the skimming device on ATMs, card readers in restaurants, card processing machine in a retail shop.

6. Merchant credit card fraud

This type of fraud occurs when a merchant commits fraudulent activity related to credit card.

7. Cyber card theft

Phishing scams and hacking are the most common fraudulent practices on the Internet.

# Credit card fraud Laws

In 1984, the Credit Card Fraud Act was signed because this fraud was becoming a major issue. As per the Law:

  1. A person can be charged with a federal offense for obtaining credit card information.
  2. A person can be accused of using or attempting to use a credit card without authorization in interstate commerce.
  3. Using money, services, receiving items through a credit card fraud.

# Punishments for credit card fraud

Credit card fraud penalties vary from state-to-state. Some states consider it as a felony offense, whereas other states charge for years of imprisonment. However, whether the fraud will be considered as a felony offense or a misdemeanor depends upon many important things. The suspected person can be accused of other charges if the state has other criminal codes such as fraudulent use of identity, forgery, email fraud etc:

  • At the federal level, the accused person who is charged with trafficking, counterfeiting access devices to defraud, or using data, could be imprisoned for 10 years along with a fine.
  • Identity fraud (transferring information, identifying information having multiple identifications) results in a 15 years imprisonment.
  • Bank fraud, mail fraud, and the wire fraud results in a maximum of 30 years imprisonment with a penalty of $1 million.

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# What to do if you become accused of the credit card fraud

If you become accused of credit card fraud and get arrested, then you need to contact a criminal attorney. Appoint an efficient lawyer when you become accused of credit card fraud. Thus, you’ll be able to prove that your motive wasn’t fraudulent. If you get arrested, then you must know what to do against the charge. You may be required to fill out a fraud affidavit. If you believe that you’ve mistakenly charged, then you need to appoint an experienced attorney to prove your innocence.

# What to do if you become a victim of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is on the rise. The moment you realize that you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud, you should take some actions to stop the fraudulent activities such as:

  • Report the fraud to the police as soon as possible. Provide all the documented evidence to them as well.
  • Keep a copy of the police report. You need to provide the copy to the credit card company.
  • Inform the credit card issuer about the missing card.
  • Inform the three major credit reporting agencies about the fraud. Ask them to add a victim's statement to your credit report as well.

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