Connecticut Credit and Debit Card Fraud

The term fraud refers to crimes that involve dishonesty or intentional deception. One common type of fraud is credit and debit card fraud. These fraudulent acts can be committed by either the cardholder (the person whom the credit card is issued to), by a provider (a business authorized by the card issuer to accept the card in exchange for money, goods, or services), or by any other person who illegally uses a credit card with the intent to defraud.

Connecticut defines a credit card as any instrument or device issued to a cardholder that can be used to obtain money, goods, services, or anything else of value on credit. The following chart highlights Connecticut's main credit card fraud laws.

Code Section

Connecticut Penal Code section 53a-128c: Credit Card Fraud

What's Prohibited?

Credit Card Theft:

  • Taking a credit card without the cardholder's consent, or receiving a credit card with the intent to use, sell, or transfer it to any other person, or
  • Receiving a credit card that you know has been lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered and retaining that card with the intent to use, sell, or transfer the card to someone else
  • Class A misdemeanor

Selling or Buying a Credit Card:

  • Selling or buying a credit card from someone other than the issuer
  • Class A misdemeanor

Using a Credit Card as Security for Debt:

  • Obtaining control over a credit card as security for debt with the intent to defraud the issuer, a participating party, or a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value
  • Class A misdemeanor

Credit Card Forgery

  • Falsely making or embossing a purported credit card with the intent to defraud an issuer, a participating party, a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value, or any other person
  • Class D felony

Signing Someone Else's Credit Card

  • Any person other than the cardholder (or someone authorized by the cardholder) signing a credit card with the intent to defraud the issuer, a participating party, a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value, or any other person
  • Class A misdemeanor

Fraudulently Applying for a Credit Card

It is illegal to knowingly make any false statements regarding anyone's identity or financial condition with the intent that your statements will be relied on in order to procure a new credit card. In other words, it is a crime to intentionally lie on a credit card application in Connecticut.

Provider Fraud

A provider can commit credit card fraud by accepting a credit card that he knows is stolen, forged, expired, or revoked. It is also illegal for a provider to represent to an issuer that money, goods, services, or anything else of value has been provided to a cardholder when it fact it wasn't provided.

If the provider engages in either of these fraudulent acts and improperly obtains less than $500 over a six-month period, then the provider has committed a Class A misdemeanor. If more than $500 is stolen over a six-month period then the provider has committed a class D felony.

Misdemeanor and Felony Penalties in Connecticut

  • A Class A misdemeanor in Connecticut is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
  • A Class D felony in Connecticut is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for between one and five years.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Connecticut's credit and debit card fraud laws contact a local consumer protection attorney or a criminal defense lawyer.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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