A Look at Credit Card Theft
Credit card theft is a serious crime that has negative consequences for both the victim and the person charged with the crime. A credit card theft occurs when a person takes the physical credit card or account number of a person with an intent to defraud the issuer or the account holder of money, goods, services or anything of value.
A person may also be charged with credit card theft if they knowingly use a credit card or account number they know has been stolen. It is illegal to alter a purchase ticket or charge ticket as well. A person who is convicted of credit card fraud, or financial transaction card fraud, may be sentenced to between one and ten years in prison and be ordered to pay up to $100,000 in fines.
Some people hold onto the misconception that credit card theft occurs only when a purse or wallet is stolen. The truth is that there are a number of ways that credit card theft occurs. According to Bankrate.com, credit card theft happens most commonly in the following scenarios:
1. At a Restaurant
A diner hands their credit card over to a member of the wait staff and thinks nothing of it. The person who took the card runs it through a device known as a skimmer and records your account number. This doesn’t only happen in restaurants, but in any place where your card is taken out of your sight.
2. Gas Stations and ATMs
A skimmer can also be attached over the credit card reader on the gas pump or over the card slot on the ATM machine. These typically have Bluetooth capabilities and feed your account number to the thief waiting nearby with a laptop or mobile device.
Malware is installed onto a website that has low security. The malware downloads onto your system when you visit the site. The person who infected the website is able to capture every keystroke of their victims, and waits until the consumer buys something online, pays a bill or otherwise uses their credit card information.
4. The Middle Man
It is not unusual for the person who steals your credit card information to do nothing with it but turn around and sell it. In fact, they may only be a link in a chain. The person who steals from you sells the information to someone else who sells it to someone else, and so on. The end result is typically someone using your information to open up new accounts and buy expensive items.
Credit card theft is a serious charge because of the consequences felt by the victim. If you have been charged with credit card theft in Atlanta, you need an experienced attorney by your side. Call the office of Hawkins Spizman Fortas to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.