According to Massachusetts law, credit card fraud encompasses a number of different offenses involving the illegal use of credit cards by a defendant for some sort of monetary gain, including those credit card offenses committed through the use of the internet. Credit card fraud has increased nationwide as the number of credit cards has significantly grown in recent years. Now, there are more than 200,000,000 credit cards being used across the country. In addition to the growth of credit card usage, the internet has also had an impact on the growing number of credit card fraud cases.
Like many long-standing fraud statutes, which cover situations in which defendant knowingly misrepresents facts or deceives in order to attain some sort of financial gain, Massachusetts credit card fraud statutes include similar conduct when credit cards are involved. Massachusetts statutes explicitly prohibit theft of a credit card with the intent to use or sell the card, selling or buying a credit card without being authorized to do so, or using a credit card in violation of the previous conditions in order to obtain money, goods or services of less than $250. Each of these crimes can be committed via the internet. If a defendant is found in violation of any of these provisions, the penalties are severe. The maximum jail sentence for a defendant is one year in jail and a fine of $500. In addition, Massachusetts law prohibits defendants from obtaining money, goods, or services in excess of $250 through the use of an internet credit card transaction. This offense involves fraud of a larger amount, and accordingly defendant can receive a much larger sentence for committing this offense. If a defendant is found guilty of violating this provision of Massachusetts law, he could face imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of $2,000.
Consumers often make a number of mistakes with their credit cards that lead to cyber credit card fraud. If a consumer used a website that isn’t safe or reputable, often their credit card information can be easily discovered. Many sites claim to be secure, but often aren’t, which is why it is important for consumers to do their homework before purchasing items online. In addition, credit card fraud can come through “phishing” schemes. Phishing is the act of acquiring sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and even credit card information by acting as a trustworthy site or entity. Typically phishing scams lead internet users to a website or email that looks like it came from an official organization, such as the user’s bank. While some scams are less advanced, many are incredibly intricate, making it difficult for consumers to tell the difference between a reputable website and one that is the product of a phishing scam.Cyber Stalking Defense Lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP
At the MA law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our team of criminal defense attorneys are available to speak with you regarding your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please Contact Us to schedule your free of charge initial consultation with one of our experienced Cyber-stalking criminal defense lawyers.