Credit card fraud is the most prevalent form of identity theft. More than 270,000 cases occurred in 2019, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Virginie ranks 25th in the country with 10,284 reported cases.
Virginian law defines credit card fraud as using a credit card to obtain value with the intent to defraud. For the courts to lay charges, the individual must have fraudulently acquired valuable property or services.
How is fraud carried out?
Virginia Code Section 18.2-195 lists the ways a person can commit credit card fraud. These include:
- Use of a stolen credit card or card number.
- Use of canceled or expired card or credit number.
- Using another person’s credit card.
- Obtain money more than the credit limit.
- Take a credit card from an individual to guarantee a debt.
Business owners and their employees may commit fraud by not providing goods and services after debiting the client’s card. They also become responsible for billing a client’s card more than the allowable amount.
What are the penalties?
Virginia courts can charge a person with credit card fraud as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months and a fine of $2,500.
A crime may result in a term of imprisonment of not more than 12 months and a fine of $2,500. A more serious offense may result in a prison term of one to five years and a fine of up to $2,500.
Conspiring to commit credit card fraud is also a criminal offense. This is a category 6 indictable offense punishable by time in prison not more than five years and a fine of $2,500.