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Delaware Credit and Debit Card Fraud

In Delaware, credit and debit card fraud is a common form of identity theft in which an unauthorized user intentionally uses a payment card, fraudulently makes a payment card, or illegally sells a payment card. Examples of a "payment card" include: credit cards, credit plates, bank service cards, check guarantee cards, and debit cards. The table below outlines Delaware's main credit and debit card fraud law.

Code Section

Delaware Code section 903: Unlawful Use of Payment Card

What's Prohibited?

Using (or knowingly permitting or encouraging another to use) a payment card to obtain money, goods, services, or anything of value while knowing that:

  • The card is stolen, forged, or fictitious
  • The card belongs to another person who hasn't authorized its use
  • The card has been revoked or canceled, or
  • For any other reason use of the card is unauthorized by the issuer

It is also illegal to knowingly:

  • Make, possess, sell, give, advertise, or otherwise transfer a payment card with the intent that it be used to obtain money, goods, services, or anything of value without payment of the lawful charges or without the cardholder's authorization, or
  • Publishing the payment card code of an existing, canceled, revoked, expired, or nonexistent card with the intent that it be used either to avoid the payment for any money, goods, services or anything else of value, or without the cardholder's authorization

Definition of "Payment Card"

A payment card includes any instrument or device issued by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value on credit, by the withdrawing of funds from a deposit account, or through the use of value stored on the card.

Penalties

Unlawful use of a payment card is a class A misdemeanor, unless the value of the money, goods, services, or anything of value sought to be obtained is $1,500 or more, then the offense is a class G felony.

If the victim of the offense is 62 years old or older, then the unlawful use of a payment card is a class G felony, unless the value of the money, goods, services, or anything of value sought to be obtained is $1,500 or more, then the offense is a class F felony.

Additional Resources

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

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