Fraud that involves the misuse of a credit card is a common fraud offence in Australia. Because of the increasing use of credit cards for online shopping activities and everyday business purposes, the chance for fraud has increased as well. What’s more, today’s technology makes it easier for individuals to produce counterfeit credit cards or obtain account details for fraudulent purposes.
How Fraud Can Occur
Credit card fraud can happen in one of several ways. Prosecutors often note that the perpetrator steals a card and makes purchases by forging the owner’s signature. The details may also be used to pay for services or goods online or over the phone. Access codes may also be used for making online purchases. In addition, credit card details can be captured with the use of devices during ATM transactions. Credit cards are also skimmed at retail outlets so a cloned card can be used.
Therefore, the law concerning credit card fraud is used to establish the penalties for the unauthorised or deceptive use of a person’s credit card. This type of fraud is normally used to steal services, money, and goods. Whilst schemes to gain control of a credit account have evolved over time, the two main ways to steal a credit card involve a physical taking of the card and the applying for new credit cards in a victim’s name.
Crimes Where the Card Is Not Present
The crime can also revolve around instances where the card is not present at all. For example, an alleged perpetrator can gain access not by directly taking a card, but by obtaining details, as suggested, through electronic means. Phishing websites are another example of how a credit card may be used fraudulently.
Facing prosecution for credit card fraud can take a rather large toll on a defendant. Because of the attention placed on identity theft, a prosecutor can stigmatise the charged party. Therefore, prosecutors may not go leniently on the accused.
Defending the Crime
For anyone who plans to plead guilty then, it is important to use the services of criminal lawyers in Melbourne who have experience in handling credit card fraud cases. When lawyers have these skills, they are better able to reason with the court and to show why a defendant was led to commit the crime. The defendant’s personal circumstances then may be brought to the table as well as a show of contrition from the defendant.
If you are a defendant who plans to go to trial, then your lawyer must review all the evidence for any discrepancies and conduct his or her own investigation along these lines. That way, your legal counsel can develop a trial strategy that will hopefully work in your favour and help you win your case. Obviously, if you have been accused and charged with credit card fraud, you do not want to handle this type of case on your own.
As fraud can carry severe penalties, you need to make sure you have a powerful advocate on your side – someone who will work to make sure that your innocence is proved or that the case at least results in an equitable outcome for you.