Credit And Debit Card Abuse In Fort Worth

Credit and debit cards are a convenient way to make purchases, pay bills, and ensure you always has purchasing power on hand. Additionally, technology allows consumers to input their credit and debit card information directly into their smart devices to make purchases. With this convenience, comes the potential for fraudulent activity. There are several ways an individual might engage in credit card or debit card abuse in Fort Worth, which is a felony offense.

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Fraudulent Use of Cards

Credit and debit card abuse can occur when a person uses a card that doesn’t belong to them intending to purchase goods or services fraudulently. Credit or debit card fraud also occurs when a person, with intent to obtain a benefit, fraudulently uses a card that has been expired, revoked, or canceled. Credit and debit card abuse does not require the actual, physical card. Using the card number, with or without the physical card in hand, is sufficient. Using a fake credit card or a fraudulently acquired credit card is also a violation of the law. See Texas Penal Code Section 32.31.

Key Provisions Under Texas Law (Texas Penal Code Section 32.31):

  1. Unauthorized Use: It is illegal to use a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent. This includes cases where the card has been stolen, lost, or obtained with the intention of defrauding the card issuer or a merchant.
  2. Using Expired or Cancelled Cards: Texas law prohibits the use of credit or debit cards that the holder knows have been canceled or have expired. This also applies to using a card while aware that the account does not have sufficient funds to cover the transaction.
  3. Possession of Another’s Card: Simply possessing someone else’s credit or debit card without their permission, with the intent to use, sell, or transfer it, also constitutes credit card abuse.
  4. Selling or Buying Card Information: The law also covers the sale or purchase of credit or debit card information without the cardholder’s and card issuer’s consent, reflecting the rise in digital forms of credit card fraud.
  5. Fraudulent Production or Possession of Card Details: It is illegal to possess equipment or materials to produce counterfeit credit or debit cards, or to possess such counterfeit cards themselves.

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Other Types of Financial Abuse

A person can also be prosecuted for receiving a benefit knowing it was obtained through credit and debit card abuse. Stealing a credit or debit card with the intent to either use it, sell it, or give it to someone else, even if it is never used, is also considered credit or debit card abuse. Buying and selling credit cards and debit cards are also illegal if the seller is not a bona fide card issuer. Even possessing a credit or debit card that belongs to someone else, with the intent to use it, is a crime.

Consequences of Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse in Fort Worth

This offense is a state jail felony unless the victim is an elderly individual, in which case it is a felony in the third degree. A state jail felony is punishable by six months to two years in jail, as well as a fine. A felony in the third degree is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison. If you’re facing charges for credit or debit card abuse in Fort Worth, call us today.

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