Utah Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Identity theft occurs when someone unlawfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in a fraudulent way. A common form of identity theft is credit and debit card fraud, which occurs when an unauthorized person uses your card in other to make purchases or steal money from your bank account. However, credit and debit card fraud also encompasses unlawfully using your own card, merchants submitting improper claims for payment, selling or transferring cards, etc.

Credit and debit card fraud can occur in many different ways, and each state has laws that criminalize this type of fraud. This article provides a brief overview of Utah's state laws on credit and debit card fraud.

Code Section

Utah Code section 76-6-506.2: Financial Transaction Card Offenses – Unlawful Use of Card
Definition of "Financial Transaction Card" A "financial transaction card" essentially means either a credit card or a debit card. For the legal definition see section 76-6-506(5). In this article, the term "card" is used to describe both credit and debit cards.

What's Prohibited?

 

1. Knowingly using a false, fictitious, altered, counterfeit, revoked, expired, stolen, or fraudulently obtained financial transaction card to obtain (or attempt to obtain) credit, goods, property, or services.

2. Knowingly, with the intent to defraud, using a financial transaction card to obtain (or attempt to obtain) credit, goods, or services.

3. Knowingly, with the intent to defraud, using a financial transaction card to willfully exceed the card's credit limit by $500 or more, or by 50% or more of the line of credit, whichever is greater.

4. Knowingly, with the intent to defraud, applying for a financial transaction card by making a false statement.

5. Willfully and substantially undervaluing any indebtedness for the purpose of influencing an issuer to issue a new financial transaction card, or

6. Knowingly, with the intent to defraud, presenting any credit card receipt if:

  • The receipt is counterfeit or fake
  • The alleged sale didn't take place,
  • The alleged sale wasn't authorized by the cardholder, or
  • The goods alleged to have been sold weren't delivered to the cardholder

Penalties

  • If the value sought is less than $500: Class B misdemeanor.
  • If the value sought is between $500 and $1,500: Class A misdemeanor.
  • If the value sought is between $1,500 and $5,000: Third degree felony.
  • If the value sought is or exceeds $5,000: Second degree felony.

Unlawful Acquisition, Possession, or Transfer of a Card

The law highlighted in the table above deals with the unlawful use of a card, but Utah also has laws that make it a crime to unlawfully acquire, possess, or transfer a card. In Utah it is illegal to:

  • Acquire a card without the cardholder's consent
  • Unlawfully receive a card
  • Sell or transfer a card while knowing that it will be used unlawfully
  • Acquire and either retain or sell a card while knowing that it will lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake, or
  • Possess, sell, or transfer any information needed to use a card withhold the cardholder or issuer's consent

Violators of this law commit a third degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Merchants Fraudulently Submitting Card Sales

Merchants who accept cards may commit credit or debit card fraud in Utah by presenting sale receipts for transactions that weren't completed to a card issuer for payment with the intent to defraud. For more information see section 76-6-506.6.

Additional Resources

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

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.