Credit card fraud is a serious offense. When the police catch someone who committed fraud, the penalty will depend on how much the person has spent on the card. In California, the punishment can be up to two years in county jail.
While most people think of credit card fraud as stealing someone's card information via physical or online theft, there are other examples. You should be aware of the different forms of credit card fraud so you do not fall on the wrong side of the law.
Some people will use another individual's personal information to apply for a credit card. If the person has the individual's name, address, bank account information and social security number, he or she will typically not encounter a problem in applying for a new card online. The defrauded individual will see the transactions appearing on his or her account and could have a difficult time fighting the charges.
Many people mistakenly provide pertinent details to fraudsters. The fraudster then takes this information to a bank where he or she will claim to have lost the previous credit card. With all the relevant details in hand, the fraudster requests a new card from the bank and the other party cannot use his or her credit card because the new one is now active.
Some fraudulent merchants try to increase revenue at their businesses by making multiple imprints of the same transaction. There are old-school credit card machines still in use. These make it incredibly easy for the cashier to record one transaction several times. As these old-school credit card machines are going out of fashion, this form of fraud has decreased in recent years.