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The many faces of credit card fraud

If you're accused of credit card fraud in Maryland, the accusations could have come about in a variety of different ways. It's important to know exactly what you're accused of and the legal defense options you have. Examples of fraud under state laws include the following:

-- Lying in order to get a credit card. For example, you could use someone else's identity if you know you're not going to get the card on your own.

-- Getting a stolen card, even if you did not steal it yourself. If someone else gives you a card that you know was stolen, you can still be charged for the possession and use of the card, though you had no part in taking it.

-- Keeping a lost card. If you find a card on the ground, you need to turn it over to the authorities. Keeping it and trying to use it could be illegal—again, even though you didn't actively steal it.

-- Keeping a card that was delivered to the wrong address. If your neighbor ordered a card and it came to your house, you can't activate it and start using it, even though it was dropped off in your mailbox.

-- Buying a card from someone else. This is illegal if the person is not a credit card issuer.

-- Making a counterfeit card. Though difficult, this is sometimes done by stealing another person's identity and making a fake card using it, or by making a fake card in your own name.

Those who have been accused of such crimes have the right to a fair trial.

Source: FIndLaw, "Maryland Credit and Debit Card Fraud," accessed May 12, 2016

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