Nevada Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Credit and debit card fraud is a form of identity theft that generally occurs when the victim's card is used, without their consent, to make unauthorized purchases or to fraudulently withdraw funds from a bank account. However, credit and debit card fraud comes in many shapes and sizes, and can also be entail fraudulently applying for a new card, buying or selling stolen cards, forging cards, etc. This article briefly overviews Nevada's main credit and debit card fraud laws.

Definitions

  • Credit card: A "credit card" is any instrument or device issued by an issuer for the cardholder to use to obtain anything of value on credit.
  • Debit card: A "debit card" is any instrument or device issued by an issuer for the cardholder to use to obtain anything of value subject to the issuer removing money from the cardholder's checking or saving account.

Fraudulently Using a Card

Code Section

Nevada Code section 205.760: Fraudulent Use of Credit or Debit Card

What's Prohibited?

It is illegal to commit any of the following acts with the intent to defraud:
  • Use a credit card or debit card to obtain money, goods, property, services, or anything of value if the card was illegally obtained or retained, or if the offender knows that the card is forged, expired, or has been revoked
  • Use the numbers on a card to obtain money, goods, property, services, or anything of value without the consent of the cardholder, or
  • Obtain money, goods, property, services, or anything of value by representing, without the consent of the cardholder, that the offender is the authorized cardholder or that the offender is the holder of a card which hasn't in fact been issued

Penalties

Fraudulently using a credit or debit card is a category D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to four days, and a fine of up to $5,000. The court may also order the offender to pay restitution.

Fraudulently Applying For a Card

In Nevada, it is a crime to knowingly make any false statements in writing when applying for a new credit or debit card if the offender intended for the misstatement to be relied on. Fraudulently applying for a card is a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 364 days, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Illegally Obtaining or Possessing a Card

It is also illegal to steal, take, or remove a credit or debit card without the cardholder's consent. Additionally, it is also a crime to receive a stolen card with the intent to circulate, use, or sell the card. Illegally obtaining or possessing a card is a category D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to four years, and a fine of up to $5,000. The court may also require the offender to pay restitution.

Illegally Buying or Selling a Card

Under Nevada's credit and debit card laws it is illegal for anyone who isn't a card issuer to buy or sell cards. Buying or selling card numbers (or other identifying physical or electronic descriptions) constitutes a category D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to four years, and a fine of up to $5,000.

Forging a Credit Card

Nevada's credit and debit card fraud laws specifically make it a crime to forge a card with the intent to defraud. Falsely making or embossing a purported card is a category D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to four years, and a fine of up to $5,000. The court may also require the offender to pay restitution.

Additional Resources

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

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