Credit Card Fraud or Theft: What You Need to Know

You don’t have to be an actual thief to get into trouble for credit card fraud. The vast majority of people who get arrested for credit card fraud would probably never take money from a stranger’s purse or wallet.

How does it happen? Quite often, the trouble can be tied back to confusion about what you’re allowed to do, a vindictive partner who is being punitive or a simple mistake. Here are some common scenarios that can lead to charges:

You were given permission to make one charge, and you made several

Maybe your roommate was out of town when the rent came due, so they gave you their credit card information to pay their half of the bill. You also thought it would be okay to put half of the groceries and a few other purchases on the card — but they’re angry and say that they never extended you that right.

You were given permission to use the card, but the owner now says differently

Your ex-finance handed you their credit card and told you to “buy what you needed” for your upcoming trip together. When the relationship fell apart, they claimed that you had taken their card without their permission and run up unauthorized charges.

You continued to use a relative’s credit card after they died

When your spouse or mother passed away, you never even thought about the fact that you routinely used a credit card in their name to pay for some of the things you need. You thought that it didn’t matter as long as you made the payments. Now, you’re struggling with money and don’t have enough to pay the bill — and the credit card company says you committed fraud.

Authorities in Virginia take credit card fraud very seriously. While fraud involving less than $500 is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, anything over that amount is a felony. If you’re accused of theft via credit card fraud, get experienced representation immediately.