Using someone’s credit card without authorization could leave someone in serious legal trouble. Credit cards are an individual’s personal property, and the accounts are not meant to be used without permission. Thankfully, many cards have security features to protect the account holder from theft. Still, many instances of credit card fraud happen in Florida and elsewhere.
Examples of credit card fraud
Credit card fraud takes many forms, with one of the most common involving stealing and using the card. Outright theft is not the only example. Finding someone’s wallet and making purchases with the individual’s Visa may result in jail time.
Other credit card schemes could be more elaborate. Telemarketing phishing expeditions may attempt to appropriate card numbers and security codes. Similar email scams follow the same pattern.
Hackers could appropriate credit card information saved on servers, computers and phones. Not every scheme attempt involves high-end computer hacking. Sometimes, people don’t protect their passwords and suffer the consequences.
Criminal charges and fraud
Fraud is an outright white-collar crime and not negligence. Using someone’s card by accident would not likely be criminal fraud. Fraud typically involves knowledge and intent. That said, negligently using someone’s card may still lead to civil claims.
False fraud claims may happen when someone jumps to conclusions over an unexpected or unauthorized charge. An arrest may follow, although the case against the accused might be weak. Guilt requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and a prosecutor might find it unwise to pursue a weak case. However, if such a case moves forward, a judge could dismiss it.
In other cases, the accused may consider a plea arrangement. The evidence could support a conviction and a harsh sentence. A plea deal might reduce strict penalties.