In Pennsylvania, committing any type of fraudulent activity that is connected to using a credit card is against the law. According to the Pennsylvania Legislature, a person may be considered guilty of credit card fraud if the credit card:
- Was used without the owner’s consent.
- Is counterfeit or was altered by the user.
- Was previously revoked or cancelled.
Typically, this type of white collar crime falls into one of two categories. According to Cornell University Law School, these two kinds include application fraud and account takeover. Application fraud occurs when a person opens up a credit card account under another person’s identity without authorization. In comparison, account takeovers occur when someone is able to access another person’s credit card account using stolen personal information.
The penalties for credit card fraud in Pennsylvania remain the same, regardless of what type of fraud was committed. According to the Pennsylvania Legislature, the consequences for this crime depend on the value of the goods and services that were acquired using the fraudulent credit card. For example, if the value of goods stolen was less than $50, the crime will be considered a second degree misdemeanor and may be punishable by the requirement to spend two years in prison.
However, each credit card used to commit the offense will be treated as a separate crime. For example, if a man acquired three different credit cards and proceeded to make separate purchases with each of them, his actions will be viewed as three offenses punishable by three separate penalties.