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New York Credit Card Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud is a general term used to describe an offender illegally using a credit card to obtain goods, services, or cash, without paying for it. Credit card fraud related crimes can include identity theft, grand larceny, and the fraudulent use of another person’s credit card. While credit card fraud often involves transactions conducted online, it can also involve in person transactions.

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What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a crime that involves using another person’s identifying information, such as name, birth date, or social security number, in order to obtain goods or services. There are different types of identity theft. Financial identity theft involves using another’s identity to obtain credit cards, loans, and make purchases, while medical identity theft involves using another person’s information to obtain medical services, prescriptions, or medical insurance. Criminal identity theft is when someone gives law enforcement another person’s information to avoid criminal charges.

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What Is the Difference Between Identity Theft in the First, Second, and Third Degree?

If you knowingly represent yourself to be someone else, or if you use someone’s personal identifying information to apply for a credit card, then you will have committed the crime of identity theft in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor. For example, 35-year-old George Smith, Jr. has a terrible credit score and was turned down for several credit cards. So, he decided to apply for a card in his father’s name, George Smith, Sr. George Jr. was able to get a major credit card with a credit line of $1,000. He used the card for purchase gas, groceries, and other necessities. He also paid the bill on time each month. After checking his credit report George Sr. discovered the account. He was very angry and told his son that he was going to call the police. Worried, George Jr. contacted a New York credit card fraud lawyer to discuss his legal options.

If the value of the goods or services obtained using a fraudulent obtained credit card exceeds $500, then the charge will be identity theft in the second degree, a class E felony. In addition, if you commit the crime of identity theft and at the same time commit another felony, the charge you will face is identity theft in the second degree. Having a prior record of identity theft or grand larceny are aggravating factors that will bump up the charge to second degree identity theft.

You will face the charge of identity theft in the first degree if the value of the goods or services purchased with the fraudulently obtained credit card exceeds $2000. Just like with the charge of second degree identity, committing a felony and having a prior history of committing identity theft or grand larceny will result in the charge being raised to first degree identity theft, a class D felony.

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What Is Aggravated Identity Theft?

If you use the identity of a deployed member of the armed forces to obtain a credit card and obtain goods or services with a value in excess of $500, the charge will be aggravated identity theft, a class D felony.

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What Other Charges Might I Face if I Am Charged With Credit Card Fraud?

As a New York credit card fraud lawyer will explain, if you are suspected of committing credit card fraud, the prosecutor may also charge you with grand larceny. If you steal someone’s credit card, assume another person’s identity to obtain a credit card and use it to make purchases, or make purchases using a fake credit card, then the property your obtain would have been stolen. You also may face federal charges related to mail fraud.

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What Activities Constitute Credit Card Fraud?

There are many activities that under state law can be the basis of a credit card fraud related crime. One of the most common is using someone’s credit card without their knowledge or permission. The victim can be a family member or friend. Applying for and obtaining a credit using another person’s information or providing false information on a credit card application are types of credit card fraud. Manufacturing and distributing credit cards are also examples of credit card fraud.

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Still Have Questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for Help

If you have been charged with identity theft, grand larceny, or another crime related to credit card fraud, it is important that you have experienced representation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with white collar crimes such as credit card fraud and computer fraud. Contact a credit card fraud attorney serving New York at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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