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New York Credit Card Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

The New York state criminal code does not define any single crime as “credit card fraud.” This means that you cannot be arrested and given a charge of “credit card fraud.” That said, credit card fraud is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of crimes including fraudulently using another individual’s credit card, grand larceny, and identity theft.

Credit card fraud might involve making offline and online purchases with a stolen credit card. Alternatively, it might involve stealing a person’s identity and opening varying financial accounts. This might be done both by strangers and by family members of the victim.

Fraud also describes lying about yourself when applying for a credit card. The term can even apply to the creation of fake credit cards.

Regardless of the exact criminal charges that you’re facing, any kind of charge related to credit card fraud is serious. It’s important to speak with an experienced New York criminal lawyer as soon as you can. Spodek Law Group is a group of highly skilled lawyers that can help.

What is identity theft?

To commit identity theft, a person must use the identifying characteristics of another person (including things like social security number, birth date, and name) to gain goods and services. Four identity theft charges are part of the New York Penal Code: first degree identity theft, second degree identity theft, third degree identity theft, and finally aggravated identity theft.

What is the difference in degrees of identity theft?

Third degree identity theft is the least serious identity theft charge. It’s classified as a class A misdemeanor, meaning that it’s the most serious type of misdemeanor. To be charged with third degree identity theft, you must knowingly and willingly represent yourself as someone else, or alternatively use another person’s information for a credit card application.

Second degree identity theft occurs when a fraudulently obtained credit card is used for the purchase of goods or services in excess of $500. This is a class E felony. Additionally, when a person commits identity theft simultaneously with another felony, that person will be charged with second degree identity theft. The final reason you might be charged with second degree identity theft is if you have a previous third degree identity theft charge on your criminal record.

First degree identity theft occurs when a fraudulently obtained credit card is used for the purchase of goods or services in excess of $2000. You will also have your identity theft charge raised to a first degree charge if you have previous second degree charges, or if you commit a felony while using another person’s identity. First degree identity theft is a class D felony.

What is aggravated identity theft?

Aggravated identity theft occurs when a person uses the identity of a member of the military who has been deployed. When the person receives a credit card and obtains services and goods exceeding $500, they will be charged with aggravated identity theft. Like first degree identity theft, this is a serious charge that is classified as a class D felony.

What other charges accompany credit card fraud charges?

If you have been accused of committing credit card fraud, there’s a good chance you will have an identity theft charge leveled against you. Similarly, the prosecution might add a grand larceny charge. Depending on the circumstances in which you received the card, you might be given a federal mail fraud charge. This federal charge will be tried in a different court from the New York state charges.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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