Did you know that using a credit card without someone else’s permission, even if they gave it to you in the past, could constitute a federal crime? There are two crimes that you could be accused of including identity theft and credit card fraud.
Either of these crimes could lead to significant penalties, so it’s important that you take any accusations you face seriously. Doing so can help you mitigate the risk, because you’ll know that you need a strong defense and that you should avoid saying or doing anything else that might suggest that you’re guilty of a crime.
What is identity theft?
The first thing to know is that you could be accused of identity theft if you decide to use someone else’s credit card. Any time you are not the account holder, you could be accused of identity theft unless you are an approved user or are listed as a second user on the card.
It is possible to be accused of identity theft even if you’re using a card owned by a family member or friend. It’s better to get added as an authorized user if you’ll need to use the card often (with their permission, of course).
What is credit card fraud?
Credit card fraud happens when you use someone else’s card to make a purchase. This is an umbrella term and does include identity theft. It also includes actions like making false claims about purchases made on the card.
Credit card fraud may include phishing, hacking, skimming and other acts. If you’re accused of these, it’s possible you could be accused of computer crimes as well.
It’s possible to face state and federal charges for these kinds of crimes.
What should you do if you’re facing allegations of credit card fraud or identity theft?
With either of these allegations, it’s important that you take the claims against you seriously. Even if you know that you didn’t do anything wrong or that there was a misunderstanding, it’s valuable to make sure you learn more about your legal rights and take steps to build a strong defense against the charges.