Pennsylvania Credit Card Fraud Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed March 28, 2018
Overview of Pennsylvania Credit Card Fraud Laws
In Pennsylvania, committing any type of fraudulent activity in connection with the use of a credit card (sometimes known as an "access device") is against the law. A person can be convicted of credit card fraud if they use a credit card or try to use it knowing that:
- the credit card is counterfeit, altered or incomplete;
- the credit card has not been authorized to be used by this person;
- the credit card has been revoked or canceled;
If the defendant makes any attempt whatsoever to get a third person to use a credit card under any of the above circumstances, he can be charged with credit card fraud. In addition, the defendant does not have to actually try to use the fraudulent or unauthorized credit card. Merely possessing it and knowing it is counterfeit or has not been authorized for use constitutes credit card fraud.
NOTE: The defendant will be presumed to have known that the card is counterfeit and/or not authorized for use if he/she has two or more such credit cards in his/her possession.
Penalties and Sentences
The penalty and sentence involved for a charge of credit card fraud depends on the value of the goods or services that were obtained (or attempted to be obtained) by means of the credit card. If the value was less than $50, the charge will be a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. If the value was $50 or more but less than $500, the offense constitutes a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison. If the value was $500 or more, the offense constitutes a third degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Each credit card involved in the offense will be considered a separate charge under Pennsylvania law. For example, if on one day, Bob used three different credit cards and made fraudulent purchases with them, Bob will have committed three separate offenses.
The following chart highlights the details of Pennsylvania's credit card fraud statute.
|18 Pa. Cons. Stat. sections 4601|
|Defenses to Credit Card Fraud Charges
Yes, depending on the value of the theft or loss.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Pennsylvania Criminal Laws Related Resources:
Charged with Violating Pennsylvania Credit Card Fraud Laws? Get Legal Help
Credit card fraud can happen in a variety of ways, whether by physically using someone else's credit card without permission or using the credit card number online to buy an item. If you've been arrested and charged with credit card fraud in Pennsylvania, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney to learn about your rights and options.
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.
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