Credit card skimming is a crime that has increased in relevance in the last decade. One commits the offense of credit card skimming by affixing a small device to an ATM or any credit card machine. The device reads and collects the card number, security code, and all information from the magnetic strips of every card inserted in or swiped through the machine. Individuals and criminal organizations often use this information to make duplicate cards that can be sold to a third-party or used to make online or in-store purchases. Credit card skimming became such a common issue in the United States that the credit card chip was implemented to help protect consumers. However, credit card skimming continues to occur.
If you or someone you know was in any way involved in a credit card skimming operation and is currently facing criminal prosecution, act swiftly and secure legal representation from a knowledgeable attorney. The Orlando credit card skimming fraud defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm can approach your case with vigor and a relentless desire to protect your best interests. Credit card skimming fraud has grave criminal penalties. Discover the full extent of your criminal defense options by speaking with our team today.
Florida Credit Card Skimming Offenses
Credit card skimming is an action that takes some time to see a return. The individuals who place these skimming devices on ATMs and other credit card readers must wait a certain amount of time before returning to the site to retrieve the device. As a result, multiple individuals are often involved, and numerous crimes are committed during the commission of credit card skimming.
State law enforcement who catch individuals credit card skimming will likely charge them with identity theft, larceny, and other fraud offenses. However, skimming is most commonly prosecuted at the federal level. This is especially true for considerably large and international fraud schemes.
Those caught credit card skimming rarely face penalties for credit card skimming alone. Instead, the prosecution often charges them with related crimes as well including:
- Wire fraud
- Money laundering
- Computer fraud
- Obstruction of justice
- Access device fraud
- Bank fraud
Each crime will have separate penalties which can result in a seemingly excessive criminal sentence.
Penalties Linked With Credit Card Skimming
It’s important for those facing credit card skimming charges to know that they did not have to be the mastermind of the operation to get charged. Playing even the most insignificant role in the fraud can result in an arrest and a criminal conviction. Some of the actions that can result in credit card skimming charges include:
- Creating counterfeit or duplicate cards
- Installing the skimming device
- Recording and possessing the stolen information
- Sharing or selling the recorded information
- Using counterfeit cards to make purchases or withdraw funds
Depending on the specific subsection of violated, the convicted can be ordered to pay a hefty fine, serve up to 15 years in federal prison, and forfeit all equipment used in the commission of the crime. If this is one’s second or subsequent federal credit card offense, however, the maximum sentence increases to 20 years.
Defenses to Credit Card Skimming
The burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated federal credit card skimming laws. It is our job as your criminal defense team to refute the charges to help have them lessened or even dismissed altogether if possible. Some of the most effective ways we defend against credit card skimming charges include:
- Ensuring that illegally obtained evidence is not used to prove guilt
- Negotiating agreements to minimize criminal penalties
- Conducting an independent investigation of the legal matter to uncover missteps and questionable police conduct
Our Orlando credit card skimming attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm has over 100 years of combined experience. In the event you face federal charges, Board Certifitial Criminal Trial Lawyer Brice Aikens can handle your case personally and discuss all of your available criminal defense options. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.