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Maryland Federal Credit Card Fraud

If you find yourself facing fraud charges, a Maryland federal credit card fraud lawyer can assert your rights as you stand before a judge of the United States District Court. Additionally, a Maryland federal credit card fraud lawyer can diligently work to preserve your rights and aggressively defend you against the criminal charges for which you were accused. Call today and schedule a consultation with a federal fraud attorney in Maryland to discuss your case.

About Federal Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud has been in the news regularly in recent years, particularly in regards to retail data breaches in which hackers gained access to account information from thousands of consumers.

However, not all credit card fraud requires such sophisticated hacking schemes. Lying on a credit application, using a stolen credit card, email and internet phishing, and use of a credit card skimmer to obtain account information are all ways credit card fraud can be charged. Regardless of the means of obtaining account information or attempting to defraud a creditor, the unlawful use of another’s credit card information or other fraudulent use of a credit or debit card is against the law.

Federal statutes used to prosecute credit card fraud include those aimed at:

  • Identity theft
  • Computer crimes
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Conspiracy
  • Illegal use of access devices
  • Telemarketing fraud
  • And more.

The penalties associated with federal credit card fraud depend upon the specific offense of which one was convicted and other factors, including the dollar amount associated with the fraud, the number of victims involved, and the criminal history of the person convicted of fraud. To learn more consult with a federal credit card fraud lawyer in Maryland.

Understanding Federal Credit Card Fraud Charges

A basic form of credit card fraud is using another person’s credit or debit card without his or her authorization. Often, credit card theft or fraud is prosecuted as a state crime (Md. Code 8-203 through 8-209). However, several factors involved in a credit card fraud case make it likely for the United States government to have jurisdiction, elevating the crime to a federal offense.

Use of a computer to conduct interstate transfers or commerce while using a credit card may cause a violation of the wire fraud statute. Filing a fraudulent application for a bank-issued credit card can bring an indictment for bank fraud. Altering an address on an account and requesting a new card be sent to that address rather than the cardholder’s true address may constitute mail fraud.

Commonly Prosecuted Credit Card Fraud Schemes

Credit card fraud can be prosecuted pursuant to a variety of theories.  Common credit card fraud schemes include the following:

  • Using a stolen, lost, or “borrowed” credit card without authorization
  • Installing skimming devices on ATM machines or gas pumps to collect cardholder account information
  • Stealing cardholder account information from the trash or mailboxes
  • Using illegally collected cardholder information to make counterfeit credit cards
  • Using illegally collected cardholder information to open new accounts or lines of credit
  • Using stolen account information to takeover an existing credit card account

Credit card fraud can be committed with or without the presence of a physical card. Regardless of the prosecution’s theory of the alleged offense, an aggressive defense from a Maryland federal credit card fraud lawyer can go a long way in ensuring that your rights are upheld in court and that you benefit from a personalized defense strategy.

Federal Credit Card Fraud Laws

When U.S. attorneys prosecute credit card fraud in federal court, they rely on a variety of statutes to aid in prosecuting and convicting defendants. Often, they will charge a defendant with several different crimes relating to a single scheme. For example, use of a skimming device to collect credit card information which is then used to create counterfeit credit cards can result in multiple charges:

  • Conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the United States
  • Fraud in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information
  • Aggravated identity theft
  • Fraud in connection with access devices
  • Fraud in connection with computers

Contact a Maryland Federal Credit Card Fraud Attorney

Learn more about the potential consequences of a federal credit card fraud case and discuss your defense options by calling a Maryland federal credit card fraud lawyer today.