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Did you just commit credit card fraud? Maybe

Your boyfriend gave you his credit card to do some shopping. You had his full permission and did not spend over the amount he specified. As far as you knew, everything was fine and you were not doing anything illegal.

Then you and your boyfriend broke up and not in an amicable way. He has filed charges against you for credit card fraud. But surely since you had his permission, it was not fraud? Wrong.

Credit cards come with a wide range of terms and conditions that are usually long and hard to understand. Combine that with our current credit card laws and you can very easily break the law without ever knowing it. If charged and convicted, whether it was an accident or not, you can face both legal and financial consequences.

Read below for ways you're accidentally committing credit card fraud.

You used someone else's card

Using someone else's card without permission is definitely fraud. However, the credit card company can also consider using someone else's card with permission fraud.

The company has a contract with the card holder, not with you. This means that using another person's card, signing the slip on his or her behalf, or punching in the numbers to make a purchase are all violations of the credit card contract.

Free trials and fake card numbers

Often when you sign up for a free trial you are required to enter your credit card number. If you don't cancel by the end of the trial, your card will be charged for the service. Instead of using your own credit card, you might be tempted to use a card number provided by an online source.

These card number providers claim that the numbers provided are completely fake and will not pass a verification test. But how can you be sure that you just did not purchase a stolen credit card number? Or what if you are unintentionally breaking the law by doing this?

It's better to avoid this kind of complication and simply use your own credit card and set a reminder to cancel the service.

Chargeback fraud

When you dispute your own online purchases and your credit card company reverses the charges, you have just committed chargeback fraud or "friendly fraud." When you do this, you receive a refund from the bank but you still receive the items you ordered. Sometimes this happens unintentionally. For example, you might forget about that late night purchase of vinyl records your made after a night out drinking.

Before you dispute charges with your bank, be sure that the charge wasn't one you forgot about.

Falsifying your credit card application

You can be in legal trouble for providing false information on your credit card application. While this can happen by mistake, doing this intentionally can result in you being charged with theft by deception and larceny. The penalties include jail time, fines, and possibly community service.

There are several ways that you can commit credit fraud without realizing it. If you have been charged with credit fraud, contact an Ann Arbor attorney experienced with fraud for advice on your case.

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