There are a number of crimes in Virginia involving the theft or fraudulent use of credit cards. Virginia credit card offenses are serious crimes and carry strict penalties. Common Virginia credit card offenses include credit card theft, credit card fraud, and credit card forgery, as well as a number of other specific offenses.
Credit Card Theft in Virginia
Credit Card Theft is one of the most common of the Virginia credit card offenses. Credit card theft in Virginia is a felony under Va. Code §18.2-192. It is a form of grand larceny and is punished with up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $2500. See Va. Code §18.2-95. Virginia credit card offenses relating to theft apply to both credit cards and credit card numbers. Virginia credit card theft can be charged under Va. Code §18.2-192 as a result of:
- Taking a credit card without the cardholder’s consent
- Knowing receipt of stolen credit card
- Knowing receipt of lost or mis-delivered credit card
- Non-issuer selling a credit card
- Buying a credit card from a non-issuer
- Receiving 2 or more signed credit cards issued to 2 or more people in a 12 month period
For more information on Virginia credit card theft charges, click here.
Credit Card Fraud in Virginia
There are a number of Virginia credit card offenses involving credit card fraud. Credit Card Fraud (Va. Code §18.2-195) is committed when an offender knowingly uses a credit card to obtain something of value with intent to defraud. It is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the goods fraudulently obtained. If the value of goods furnished as a result of the fraud was less than $200 in a 6 month period, it is a misdemeanor. If the value exceeded $200 in a 6 month period, it will be charged as a felony.
An offender can be charged with Virginia credit card fraud for committing any of the following acts:
- Knowing use of a stolen/lost/revoked/expired credit card or number
- Using another person’s credit card without authorization
- Obtaining something of value with an un-issued credit card
- Taking credit card as security for a debt with an intent to defraudit
- Obtaining money in excess of credit limit with an intent to defraud
- A merchant furnishing anything of value after being presented with a lost/stolen/revoked card if the merchant had an intent to defraud
- Merchant fails to provide money, goods, service or anything else of value after representing to a credit card issuer that the goods have been produced to the cardholder
- Charging credit card issuer an amount exceeding that authorized by the cardholder
Conspiracy to commit credit card fraud in Virginia or conspiring in Virginia to commit credit card fraud anywhere is a felony punished with up to 5 years in prison.
For more information on Virginia credit card offenses involving fraud, click here.
Credit Card Forgery in Virginia
Credit Card Forgery under Va. Code §18.2-193 in Virginia is a Class 5 felony. It is punished with up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $2500. An offender can be charged with credit card forgery in Virginia for any of the following acts:
- Making a fake credit card
- Altering a valid existing credit card
- False embossing of a credit card (adding information to a credit card)
- Uttering a false credit card (knowingly presenting a fake credit card to obtain some benefit)
- Signing another person’s credit card without the cardholder’s consent
- Forging sales draft, cash advance, or withdrawal slip without the cardholder’s consent
- Uttering a forged sales draft/cash advance/withdrawal slip
Other Virginia Credit Card Offenses
Credit Card Factoring
Va. Code §18.2-195.1 states that it is a Class 5 felony in Virginia for a merchant to present a false credit card transaction to a credit card issuer with intent to defraud. It is punished with up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $2500. If the presentation was made to the issuer without intent to defraud, but still without authorization, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished with upito 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500. Causing another person to commit this act is also considered credit card factoring under §18.2-195.1.B.
Receiving Goods and Services Obtained by Credit Card Fraud
It is a crime under Va. Code §18.2-197 to knowingly receive goods or services that were obtained through the use of credit card fraud. If the value of the fraudulently obtained goods or services received is less than $200 in a 6 month period, the offense is a misdemeanor. If the value of the goods or services received is more than $200 in a 6 month period, the crime is a felony punished with up to 5 years in prison.
Fraudulent Application for Credit Card
Va. Code §18.2-195.2 criminalizes certain actions related to fraudulent credit card applications. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia to knowingly make a false statement on a credit card application. It is punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500. If the false statement was made in response to unsolicited offer from an issuer, it is a Class 4 misdemeanor, punished with a fine up to $250.
Va. Code §18.2-195.2(B) criminalizes failure to pay for any value received by use of a credit card obtained from a fraudulent application. If the value of the goods or services received is less than $200, it is treated as petty larceny and punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the value of the good or services received is more than $200, it is treated as grand larceny and is punished with up to 20 years in prison.
Possession of Credit Card Forgery Devices
It is a felony in Virginia to possess credit card forgery devices. Va. Code §18.2-196(1)(A) states that if a person other than the cardholder possesses 2 or more incomplete credit cards with intent to complete them without the consent of the purported issuer, it is a Class 6 felony punished with to 5 years in prison. It is also a Class 6 felony under Va. Code §18.2-196(1)(B) to knowing possess machinery designed to produce credit cards.
Unlawful Use of Credit Card Scanning Devices
Va. Code §18.2-196.1 criminalizes malicious use of credit card scanning devices. Va. Code §18.2-196.1(A) states that if an offender uses a scanning device or re-encoder on someone else’s credit card, with malicious intent and without permission, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Distributing or selling the information maliciously obtained from a scanning device or re-encoder is a Class 6 felony under §18.2-196.1(B). It is also a Class 6 felony to use the information obtained by the scanning device or re-encoder in the commission of a crime. See Va. Code §18.2-196.1(C).