Georgia Credit and Debit Card Fraud Laws

Overview of Georgia Credit Card Fraud Laws

Paying with cash isn't always convenient. More and more, consumers are using credit and debit cards to make everyday purchases in stores and on the Internet. Because of the prevalence of electronic payment, credit card and debit card fraud is on the rise.

In Georgia, it's a form of identity theft that involves taking another person's credit card information without permission and making charges to the account or removing funds from it.

The following table highlights the main provisions of the Georgia's credit card laws. See Are You Responsible for Unauthorized Credit Card Charges?, Fraud and Financial Crimes, Theft Overview, and Business Data Breach and Customer ID Theft for more information.

Code Sections

Financial Transaction Card Theft: O.C.G.A. §16-9-31

Forgery of a Financial Transaction Card: O.C.G.A §16-9-32

Financial Transaction Card Fraud: O.C.G.A. Section §16-9-33

What is Prohibited

Financial Transaction Card Theft:

  • Taking a credit or debit card from the cardholder without their consent
  • Knowingly possessing a stolen credit or debit card without the owners' consent with the intent to use or sell it
  • Knowingly possessing a credit or debit card that has been lost or misdelivered with the intent to use or sell it
  • Buying a lost, stolen, or forged credit or debit card from another person
  • Possessing two or more lost, stolen, or forged cards within one year.

Forgery of a Financial Transaction Card

  • Creating a false credit or debit card with the intent to defraud
  • Falsely encoding a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud (basically altering the magnetic strip)

Financial Transactions Card Fraud

  • Knowingly using a credit or debit card without permission with the intent to defraud. The account number either doesn't exist, or the card was lost, stolen, forged, revoked, expired, or obtained by fraud.
  • Business owners and employees who knowingly accept a fraudulent credit or debit cards, or falsify a credit card receipt can also be guilty.
Penalties

Financial Transaction Card Theft: Felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and 1-3 years of prison.

Forgery of a Financial Transaction Card: Felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and 1-3 years of prison.

Financial Transactions Card Fraud: Felony, punishment depends on that amount of money stolen as a result of the fraud.

**Sentences typically include restitution to the victim(s).

What to Do If You Are a Victim

  1. Contact your local law enforcement and Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection
  2. Notify you credit card company.
  3. Contact the three major credit card bureaus:

Get a Free Case Review

Because Georgia's consumer and criminal laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced consumer protection or criminal defense lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation. Better yet, have a local attorney evaluate your consumer law issue initially for free.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.