Sunday, March 22, 2020


One of the most common crimes that Law Enforcement Officers handle is fraud, specifically Credit card fraud, Credit card theft, conspiracy to commit fraud, and most commonly identity theft. A lot of people get these criminal offenses mixed up, they are different, and charging them requires knowledge of how the law applies when it comes to the action of fraud. 

Credit card fraud is normally associated with the fraudulent utilization of someone’s credit card or account without the owner’s permission to do so. This criminal offense is always a felony, no matter the value utilized during the fraud. 

This offense is not only designated for “credit” cards, it also covers “debit” cards as well, and in the eyes the law the two are interchangeable. Credit card fraud is commonly associated with people who lose their wallet/purse/etc. or are victim of criminal actions where their possessions are taken. 

Criminals usually attempt to utilize the credit cards for fraud as soon as possible because they are against the clock, the victim will eventually report the cards as stolen and they will be shut down as a result. 

Credit card theft is simply the taking of someone else’s credit card with the intent to defraud them permanently of that credit card or the ability to utilize that credit card. This offense is charged when the suspect has stolen the victim’s credit card(s) but have not utilized them, hence they haven’t committed fraud at that point, just theft. This criminal offense is always a felony, it also tends to be associated with identity theft as well.

Identity theft is known as the fraudulent taking of another person’s personal identifiers with the intent to utilize them to act as that person in committing criminal actions or acquiring goods or services. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of damage done by the suspect. 

Identity theft is very common, scams occur every day via phone where people are manipulated into giving out crucial information under false pretenses. 

All of these are together under the fraud umbrella, majority of LEOs handle call for services pertaining to them on the regular basis.

When it comes to which one is charged and how each are applied when it comes to the law that will be addressed in the next post…for now this will serve as introduction to the topic and a general overview of each criminal offense. 

Credit Card Fraud, Theft, and Identity Theft…