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Credit Card Fraud

In the digital age, it has only gotten easier and easier for regular people to commit credit card fraud. The tools and tricks are easy to understand and, in the vast financial sector, not as easy to put a stop to. It is common to make counterfeit credit cards with working magnetic strips. By pairing up one of the many credit card applications that fill the average mailbox with some personal identifying information, a new card will be issued. A physical card does not have to be involved to have the correct numbers and PIN codes to purchase goods or services.

If you are faced with charges of credit card fraud or any other white collar crime, you should strategize with a competent Ohio white collar crimes defense attorney immediately.

Credit Card Fraud Attorney in Dayton, OH

If you suspect you are the subject of an investigation or you have been formally charged with credit card fraud, you should seek legal counsel right away. With a call to (937) 356-3969, Joslyn Law Firm will schedule a free, no obligation consultation to review where you stand, where you want to go from here, and how we can help you get there with an experienced Dayton credit card theft lawyer in Ohio. Joslyn Law Firm practices white collar criminal defense across Montgomery County including Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek and Fairborn.


Montgomery County Credit Card Fraud Information Center


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Ohio Definition of Credit Card

The term ‘credit card’ includes, but is not limited to a card, code, device, or other means of access to a customer's account for the purpose of obtaining money, property, labor, or services on credit, or for initiating an electronic fund transfer at a point-of-sale terminal, an ATM, or a cash dispensing machine.


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How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?

There are a number of practices that can be viewed as credit card fraud. These include:

1) Practicing deception for the purpose of acquiring a credit card, when the card is issued relying on the false claims. Deception is defined as knowingly deceiving another by false or misleading representation, by withholding information, by preventing another from acquiring information, or by any other conduct, act, or omission that creates, confirms, or perpetuates a false impression in another. This can also include a false impression as to law, value, state of mind, or other objective or subjective fact – so not simply financial documents, but any and all documents supplied that played a role in determining the issuance of a credit card.

2) Knowingly buying or selling a credit card from or to a person other than the issuer. Dealing in stolen credit cards and stealing identifying information is becoming more and more common in the digital age.

3) Obtaining control over a credit card as security for a debt when the purpose is to defraud. To defraud means to knowingly obtain, by deception, some benefit for oneself or another, or to knowingly cause, by deception, some detriment to another. In other words, a person is benefitting at the expense of another and doing so by racking up debt that was never intended to be paid.

4) Obtaining property or services by the use of a credit card knowing that the card has expired, been revoked, or was obtained in violation of the law.

5) Furnishing property or services upon presentation of a credit card, knowing the card is being used in violation of law. For example, a Walmart employee knows a customer is not the credit card holder, but the employee proceeds with a sale of hundreds of dollars of electronic equipment.

6) Represent or cause to be represented to the issuer of a credit card that property or services have been furnished, knowing that the representation is false.

Finally, any person who receives, possesses, controls, or disposes of a credit card with the intention to break one of the laws listed above, can be charged as if they had committed misuse of a credit card.


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Ohio Penalties for Credit Card Fraud

Practicing deception in order to be issued a credit card is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If convicted, the sentence carries up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. The same sentence applies if a person obtained control over a credit card as security for a debt. Additionally, anyone who receives or controls a credit card with the intention to misuse it, as defined in Ohio Revised Code § 2913.21, will also be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Again, a misdemeanor of the first degree also applies if the misuse of a credit card involved financial loss to another party or parties in an amount less than $1,000. As the value of the fraudulently obtained property or services increases in value, so do the penalties.

Total Value of Property, Services, and Debt

Sentence

Jail or Prison Term

Maximum Fine

Less than $1,000

First-degree misdemeanor

Up to six months

$1,000

$1,000 or more, but less than $7,500*

Fifth-degree felony

Up to 12 months

$2,500

$7,500 or more, but less than $150,000

Fourth-degree felony

Up to 18 months

$5,000

$150,000 or more

Third-degree felony

Up to three years

$10,000

*Amount must be a product of one or more violations that occurred within a period of 90 consecutive days.


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Credit Card Fraud of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult in OH

Greater penalties apply if the victim of the offense is an elderly person or disabled adult, and if the offense involves fraudulently:

  • Obtaining control over a credit card as security for a debt; or
  • Obtaining property or services by the use of a credit card knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the card has expired or been revoked, or was obtained, is retained, or is being used in violation of law.

Again, the penalties depend on the total value of property, services, or debt involved in the crime.

Total Value of Property, Services, and Debt

Sentence

Jail or Prison Term

Maximum Fine

Less than $1,000

Fifth-degree felony

Up to 12 months

$2,500

$1,000 or more, but less than $7,500

Fourth-degree felony

Up to 18 months

$5,000

$7,500 or more, but less than $37,500

Third-degree felony

Up to three years

$10,000

$37,500 or more

Second-degree felony

Up to eight years

$15,000


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How Credit Card Fraud is Investigated in Ohio

Law enforcement and credit card companies work in conjunction to identify and investigate credit card theft. Often the issuer of the card will report the fraud themselves after they notice strange transactions in their financial statements. Normally, the issuer will just go to their credit card company, but if the fraud is substantial, they’re likely to make a police report.

The credit card company could take up to 90 days to investigate the potential fraud. The investigation will normally begin with contacting the merchant of the unauthorized transaction(s) to obtain more information. The main objective of the credit card company is to ensure there is no “friendly fraud” from the issuer. Although the credit card company will investigate, it will be by no means an aggressive one.  

However, if law enforcement is involved the investigation for credit card fraud will be much more thorough and effective. Law enforcement typically do not investigate credit card fraud cases. The ones they do investigate tend to involve large sums of money defrauded from the issuer. For that reason, law enforcement will normally utilize a variety of resources to trace any unauthorized transactions or unusual financial activity when they do take on a credit card fraud case. These investigative tactics depend on the agency and crime, but normally it will involve software that can trace financial transactions online.


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Additional Resources

Credit Card Fraud | Ohio Laws – Visit the official website for the Ohio Laws and Rules to learn more about the misuse of credit cards and the penalties for doing so. Access the site to learn the elements of the crime, penalties, various aggravating factors and other relevant information.


FBI | Credit Card Fraud – Visit the official website for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to learn more about tips to avoid credit card fraud. Access the site to learn more about credit card fraud, identity theft, and common scams ran by people trying to obtain identifying information so they can steal your credit card.


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Dayton Credit Card Lawyer in Ohio | Montgomery County

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor offense for credit card fraud or have multiple counts totaling into six figures, attorney Brian Joslyn is committed to you, your case, and the best possible outcome. A careful review of the evidence coupled with a proactive strategy in building your defense will secure the best result in the courtroom. Call (937) 356-3969 to get started by setting up a free, no obligation consultation about credit card charges with an experienced Montgomery County credit card theft lawyer today. We have effectively represented a number of clients for credit card charges across Montgomery County, Miami County, Clark County, and Green County, and will do so for you.


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