Missouri Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Today, most people carry credit cards and debit cards to make everyday purchases. As the use of credit and debit cards increases, so do the instances of fraudulent activities associated with these cards. Thieves may steal the physical card and use it as their own or may steal just the card number and pin via hacking or other means and use them to purchase items online.

No matter how a person obtains a credit or debit card, if he or she isn't authorized to use it and does so anyway, he or she can be charged with fraud in criminal court in Missouri. The following table outlines the Missouri credit and debit card fraud statute, including the kinds of conduct that are prohibited and the accompanying penalties.

Code Section Missouri Revised Statutes Section 570.130
What Is Prohibited?

Fraudulently using a credit or debit card to obtain services or property knowing that the card is stolen, forged, has been cancelled or revoked, or for any other reason he or she isn't authorized to use the card. Additionally, using a credit or debit card to pay property or other taxes and then cancelling the charge or the card after getting the receipt or license tags from the State of Missouri is a crime.

Penalty

If the property or services obtained within any 30 day period is $500 or more, it's a Class D Felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or double the money or property gained through the crime up to $20,000. If the credit or debit card fraud was for less than $500, it's a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Defenses to Credit or Debit Card Fraud Charges

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 -- please contact a Missouri criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.