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Colorado Credit and Debit Card Fraud

With more and more places to shop with our credit and debit cards, the chances that our cards may be fraudulently used are higher than ever. Luckily for those of us in the Rocky Mountain State, Colorado takes credit card and debit card fraud very seriously. Credit card crimes are included with the state’s identity theft statutes and mere possession of someone else’s credit or debit card or information without permission is a crime.

Credit and Debit Card Fraud Statutes in Colorado

The following table outlines Colorado’s credit and debit card fraud laws. If you think you have been the victim of fraud, you should file a report with the Colorado Attorney General.

Code Sections

COLO. REV. STAT. § 18-5-901, et seq. Identity Theft and Related Offenses

COLO. REV. STAT. § 18-5-903 Criminal Possession of a Financial Device

What is Prohibited?

Criminal possession of a financial device: possession or control over any financial device that the person knows, or reasonably should know, to be lost, stolen, or delivered under mistake as to the identity or address of the account holder.

"Financial device" means any instrument or device that can be used to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value or to make financial payments, including but not limited to:

  • A credit card, banking card, debit card, electronic fund transfer card, or guaranteed check card;
  • A check;
  • A negotiable order of withdrawal;
  • A share draft; or
  • A money order.

Identity theft:

Knowingly possessing or using the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority with the intent to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value, to make a financial payment, or to use in applying for or completing an application for a financial device or other extension of credit;

Falsely making, completing, altering, or uttering a written instrument or financial device containing any personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another;


Criminal possession of one financial device is a class 1 misdemeanor; two or more financial devices is a class 6 felony; and four or more financial devices, of which at least two are issued to different account holders, is a class 5 felony.

The penalties for criminal possession of a financial device range from six months to three years in prison and $5,000 to $100,000 n fines, plus restitution.

Identity theft is a class 4 felony, punishable by up to 12 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Additional Resources

If you have additional questions about Colorado’s credit and debit card fraud click on the following links:

Learn More About Credit and Debit Card Fraud in Colorado from a Lawyer

As noted above, credit and debit card fraud is serious.If you've been charged with a fraud crime, or would like legal assistance with a fraud matter, it's a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney in Colorado who can review the facts of your case and provide a recommendation on how to proceed next.

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