Credit card fraud is a serious crime that has serious consequences. Even though most people understand the finer details of credit card fraud, it’s possible to cross the “legal line” and find yourself in trouble.

There are many types of credit card fraud, with the most common as follows:

— Identity theft. This is when a person uses personal information, such as a Social Security number, to commit credit card fraud or some other type of financial crime.

— Identity assumption. This entails long-term use of identification information, such as using a person’s information to apply for credit cards.

— Fraud spree. As the name suggests, this entails unauthorized charges on an existing account. This could be the result of stealing somebody’s actual credit card, or simply using the information, such as for online purchases.

Credit card fraud typically begins when a person obtains personal information. There are many ways this is done:

— Using a stolen or lost credit card.

— Stealing from a person’s mailbox.

— Going through a person’s trash.

— Sending unsolicited emails.

— Telephone solicitation.

When a person is charged with credit card fraud, he or she should understand how serious this is. They should also understand that there are defense strategies that can help them avoid the most severe consequences.

The best way to avoid a charge of credit card fraud is to stop short of using anybody else’s credit card information in an illegal manner. If you find yourself in this position for any reason, knowing how you will be treated by the legal system is a must.

Source: FindLaw, “Debit / Credit Card Fraud,” accessed Dec. 04, 2015