Michigan Credit Card Fraud Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
In Michigan, credit or debit card fraud happens when an individual illegally uses another person's credit or debit card to pay for or purchase an item or service. Credit card fraud also includes opening a new account in another person's name, and using that card for purchases. A criminal doesn't need to physically possess the actual card in order to steal. They can easily use just the credit card number. This is generally considered a form of fraud and identity theft because purchases are made with the intention of not personally paying for the items.
In Michigan, credit cards and debit cards are referred to as Financial Transaction Devices (FTD). They can include gift cards or rebate cards. In Michigan, you can be charged with a felony for improperly using your own credit/debit card or if you possess/use the credit/debit card of another person without consent. Basic credit card fraud laws target stealing, possessing, forging, and using FTDs.
The following table highlights the main provisions of Michigan's credit card laws.
Stealing an FTD or Possessing an Altered FTD: Michigan Penal Code §750.157n
Possession of FTD with Intent: Michigan Penal Code §750.157p
Forgery of FTD: Michigan Penal Code §750.157r
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits: Michigan Penal Code §750.157w
Use of a Revoked or Canceled FTD: Michigan Penal Code §750.157s
|What is Prohibited||
Stealing an FTD or Possessing Altered FTD:
Possession of FTD with Intent to Use
Forgery of FTD
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits
Use of a Revoked or Canceled FTD
Stealing an FTD or Possessing Altered FTD: Felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and up to Four (4) Years in Prison.
Possession of FTD with Intent to Use: Felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and up to Four (4) Years in Prison.
Forgery: Felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and up to Four (4) Years in Prison.
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits: Depending on the amount it can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Use of a Revoked or Canceled FTD: Depending on the amount it can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
**Sentences typically include restitution to the victim(s).
|Definition of Financial Transaction Device "FTD"||
Credit card, banking card, debit card, Electronic Funds Transfer or gift card, or any account number.
What to Do If You Are a Victim
1) Contact the Michigan State Police and the Identity Theft Services Unit.
2) Notify you credit card company immediately.
3) Contact the three major credit card bureaus:
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742;
- Equifax: 1-800-766-0008; and
- TransUnion: 1-877-322-8228.
Because Michigan's consumer and criminal laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced consumer protection or criminal defense lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation.
See Are You Responsible for Unauthorized Credit Card Charges, Fraud and Financial Crimes, Theft Overview, and Business Data Breach and Customer ID Theft for more information.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.