Indiana Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Debit cards and credit cards are now used daily by many consumers. As debit and credit card use spreads, so does the fraudulent use of these cards.

Credit card fraud happens many ways. A thief can steal the physical card and use it at various stores. A hacker could steal just the card number and pin via his or her computer or using an electronic card-skimming device and make online purchases with that account. Indiana has a law specifically about having a credit card skimming device. If a person isn't an authorized user of a debit or credit card, but uses it anyway, he or she can be charged with fraud in Indiana.

The following table outlines the Indiana credit and debit card fraud laws.

Code Sections

Indiana Code Sections 35-43-5-4 and 35-43-5-4.3

What is Prohibited?

Credit card fraud is prohibited by Indiana Code Section 35-43-5-4, which prohibits any of the following with the intent to defraud:

  • Using a credit card with knowledge that it was stolen or otherwise received unlawfully
  • Using a credit card with knowledge that it was forged, revoked, or expired
  • Using another person's credit card without his or her consent
  • Claiming to be the credit card authorized user without his or her consent
  • Claiming to be the credit card authorized user when the card hasn't been issued
  • Selling a credit card, when you aren't the issuer

Additionally, in Indiana it's illegal to possess a credit card skimming device. The penalty depends on the intent of the person skimming cards. Generally, for identity theft or fraud it's a Level 6 felony. However, if the skimmer is being used for "terroristic deception" (using identifying information of others for terrorism or to get a weapon of mass destruction), then the penalty increases to a Level 5 felony.

Penalty

Penalties for credit card fraud in Indiana are punishable by the following sentencing ranges:

  • Level 5 Felony - 1-6 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000
  • Level 6 Felony - 6 months to 2.5 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000

Note: On July 1, 2014 Indiana criminal law changed from classifying felonies as Classes A-D to Levels 1-6 as described above. Some individuals, literature, or websites may still refer to the old system. Contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer for up to date information.

Defenses

Some of the defenses you may wish to discuss with your criminal defense attorney or public defender are:

One way to reduce or mitigate criminal penalties as part of a plea deal is to give back the money or items purchased fraudulently. This is called restitution.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- it's important to verify what you're researching.

Research the Law

Indiana Credit and Debit Card Fraud Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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