The ones I hear from get into trouble in other ways.Maybe a boyfriend lets his girlfriend use his card, and now they disagree about how much she could charge with it.
“Neither banks nor credit card companies are interested in prosecuting anyone. Legal issues, courts and lawyers are the last thing they want to deal with,” says Robert Siciliano, identity theft expert and CEO of IDTheft
It’s one thing to be an authorized user on someone’s credit card.
She wrote: “When I didn’t spend New Year’s Eve with him, he became angry and accused me of credit card fraud. ” Whether you spent more than you clearly had permission to, you can use the defense that you had permission. Klein says, “Did the boyfriend physically give her the card or give her the card information? Even if her name is not on the card, she is safe from prosecution.” Another point is whether the cardholder benefited from your use of the card.
“The fact that there was a relationship, especially if they lived together, gives her the creditability she needs to defeat the accusation,” says bankruptcy and divorce attorney Eric N. Klein asks, “Did she buy groceries or sundries for both of them?
It happens more than you think, judging by the number of questions I get on the topic.
One reader wrote: “I think I did something illegal. ” Or this from an authorized user: “About two years ago, my mother passed away. I’ve maxed the card out with a high balance and can’t make the payments. ” “That really is fraud and it is likely to draw serious scrutiny from law enforcement,” says Goldstein.If you used a credit card after the cardholder died, you should pay off the card if you can.Lesavich says you should then inform the card issuer in writing that the person is deceased, without making any admissions of any kind.I have a recording of him saying if I tell the truth about cheating on him, he won’t proceed with the charges.” Will either person face jail time? Goldstein, of Goldstein Mehta, handles cases like these frequently.He says a person is not likely to attract much interest from the police over minor credit card disputes between family or romantic partners.My husband had a company card and I was paying the bill, and I never thought to tell them he died. “Certainly, the scrutiny will be less if you continued making payments on the account, but that is just something you do not want to be involved in.” Whether the bank prosecutes you depends on the bank.