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Credit Card Crimes Are on The Increase During The Holiday Season! (Pt 1)

A very close up picture of two credit cards, stacked on top of each other. They are both VISA Mastercards.

In addition to credit card debt, which ALWAYS goes up at Christmas time, credit card crimes see a significant spike in numbers as well! But what does that mean, exactly? Well, it can mean a lot of different things, including a rise in the number of stolen credit cards, to an increase in the number of people trying to use expired credit cards, and a whole lot of other related crimes as well. That means there’s a lot you need to be aware of this holiday season here in Michigan!

Credit card crimes are often linked to fraud these days!

In a press release, Erika Dietrich, global director of payments risk, ACI Worldwide, said that fraud is increasing at an alarming rate. This is due to what she refers to as “a potent combination of data compromises, identity theft, account takeover and friendly fraud.” She warns that consumers need to protect themselves and their credit card information, especially during the holiday season,

Michigan treats credit card fraud as a very serious crime!

Credit card fraud, which is called “Cancelled / Revoked financial transaction device“, refers to someone’s intent to defraud someone else by using a credit card that’s been canceled or revoked. This is a misdemeanor here in Michigan, however the possible fines and jail time are determined by the value of the property that was purchased with the canceled credit card. So as you can imagine, the amount can add up to a substantial number very quickly!

Stolen credit cards don’t usually mean the card is stolen.

Whether it’s your actual, physical card that got stolen, or your credit card information that someone got illegally, it amounts to the same thing – someone else is shopping on your dime! In most cases, when you discover your credit card is being used by someone else, it’s not the card itself that was taken, it’s just the number and other info that allows a person to use the card online (which is also illegal in Michigan, because that counts as using a computer to commit a crime.)

How could someone steal your credit card info without the card?

This usually happens as a result of a website being hacked that you made purchases from. (Remember back in 2013, when Target fell victim to a massive data breach where hackers stole credit card data from up to 40 million customers?) Or it happens when you buy gas from a pump that was equipped with a skimmer, which is a device that allows a thief to steal credit card data as it’s swiped through the reader on the pump. Or maybe somebody at a store or restaurant copied down your card number when you used your card to make a purchase. 

How can you protect yourself during this holiday season?

The answer to that question depends on what you’re protecting yourself from. If you’re looking for ways to protect yourself from identity theft and credit card thieves, join us next time for tips on how to keep your information safe. If you’ve been accused of credit card fraud here in Michigan, and you’re looking to fight for your future and your rights, then call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245.  Our top criminal defense team has been fighting fraud and financial crime charges since the last century. We are on standby day and night, including during the holidays, to help you fight against these allegations. Reach out to us at 866 7NoJail.  

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