Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
6/19/2019

Article 6. Offenses Relating to Credit Cards.

§ 18.2-191. Definitions.

The following words and phrases as used in this article, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:

"Acquirer" means a business organization, financial institution or an agent of a business organization or financial institution that authorizes a merchant to accept payment by credit card or credit card number for money, goods, services or anything else of value.

"Cardholder" means the person or organization named on the face of a credit card to whom or for whose benefit the credit card is issued by an issuer.

"Credit card" means any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, payment device number, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value on credit. For the purpose of this article, "credit card" shall also include a similar device, whether known as a debit card, or any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value by charging the account of the cardholder with a bank or any other person even though no credit is thereby extended.

"Expired credit card" means a credit card which is no longer valid because the term shown on it has elapsed.

"Issuer" means the business organization or financial institution or its duly authorized agent which issues a credit card.

"Payment device number" means any code, account number or other means of account access, other than a check, draft or similar paper instrument, that can be used to obtain money, goods, services or anything else of value, or to initiate a transfer of funds. "Payment device number" does not include an encoded or truncated credit card number or payment device number.

"Receives" or "receiving" means acquiring possession or control of the credit card number or payment device number or accepting the same as security for a loan.

"Revoked credit card" means a credit card which is no longer valid because permission to use it has been suspended or terminated by the issuer.

"Sales draft" means a paper or electronic form evidencing a purchase of goods, services or anything else of value from a merchant through the use of a credit card.

"Cash advance/withdrawal draft" means a paper form evidencing a cash advance or withdrawal from a bank or other financial institution through the use of a credit card.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.2; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1977, c. 103; 1980, c. 99; 1985, c. 266; 1991, c. 546; 2017, c. 41.

§ 18.2-192. Credit card theft.

(1) A person is guilty of credit card or credit card number theft when:

(a) He takes, obtains or withholds a credit card or credit card number from the person, possession, custody or control of another without the cardholder's consent or who, with knowledge that it has been so taken, obtained or withheld, receives the credit card or credit card number with intent to use it or sell it, or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder; or

(b) He receives a credit card or credit card number that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the identity or address of the cardholder, and who retains possession with intent to use, to sell or to transfer the credit card or credit card number to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder; or

(c) He, not being the issuer, sells a credit card or credit card number or buys a credit card or credit card number from a person other than the issuer; or

(d) He, not being the issuer, during any twelve-month period, receives credit cards or credit card numbers issued in the names of two or more persons which he has reason to know were taken or retained under circumstances which constitute a violation of § 18.2-194 and subdivision (1) (c) of this section.

(2) Credit card or credit card number theft is grand larceny and is punishable as provided in § 18.2-95.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.3; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 318; 1985, c. 266.

§ 18.2-193. Credit card forgery.

(1) A person is guilty of credit card forgery when:

(a) With intent to defraud a purported issuer, a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, he falsely makes or falsely embosses a purported credit card or utters such a credit card; or

(b) He, not being the cardholder or a person authorized by him, with intent to defraud the issuer, or a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, signs a credit card; or

(c) He, not being the cardholder or a person authorized by him, with intent to defraud the issuer, or a person or organization providing money, goods, services or anything else of value, or any other person, forges a sales draft or cash advance/withdrawal draft, or uses a credit card number of a card of which he is not the cardholder, or utters, or attempts to employ as true, such forged draft knowing it to be forged.

(2) A person falsely makes a credit card when he makes or draws, in whole or in part, a device or instrument which purports to be the credit card of a named issuer but which is not such a credit card because the issuer did not authorize the making or drawing, or alters a credit card which was validly issued.

(3) A person falsely embosses a credit card when, without the authorization of the named issuer, he completes a credit card by adding any of the matter, other than the signature of the cardholder, which an issuer requires to appear on the credit card before it can be used by a cardholder. Conviction of credit card forgery shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.4; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1980, c. 99; 1985, c. 266.

§ 18.2-194. Unauthorized possession of two or more signed credit cards or credit card numbers.

When a person, other than the cardholder or a person authorized by him, possesses two or more credit cards which are signed or two or more credit card numbers, such possession shall be prima facie evidence that said cards or credit card numbers were obtained in violation of § 18.2-192.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.5; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 266; 2005, c. 157.

§ 18.2-195. Credit card fraud; conspiracy; penalties.

(1) A person is guilty of credit card fraud when, with intent to defraud any person, he:

(a) Uses for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value a credit card or credit card number obtained or retained in violation of § 18.2-192 or a credit card or credit card number which he knows is expired or revoked;

(b) Obtains money, goods, services or anything else of value by representing (i) without the consent of the cardholder that he is the holder of a specified card or credit card number or (ii) that he is the holder of a card or credit card number and such card or credit card number has not in fact been issued;

(c) Obtains control over a credit card or credit card number as security for debt; or

(d) Obtains money from an issuer by use of an unmanned device of the issuer or through a person other than the issuer when he knows that such advance will exceed his available credit with the issuer and any available balances held by the issuer.

(2) A person who is authorized by an issuer to furnish money, goods, services or anything else of value upon presentation of a credit card or credit card number by the cardholder, or any agent or employee of such person, is guilty of a credit card fraud when, with intent to defraud the issuer or the cardholder, he:

(a) Furnishes money, goods, services or anything else of value upon presentation of a credit card or credit card number obtained or retained in violation of § 18.2-192, or a credit card or credit card number which he knows is expired or revoked;

(b) Fails to furnish money, goods, services or anything else of value which he represents or causes to be represented in writing or by any other means to the issuer that he has furnished; or

(c) Remits to an issuer or acquirer a record of a credit card or credit card number transaction which is in excess of the monetary amount authorized by the cardholder.

(3) Conviction of credit card fraud is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of all money, goods, services and other things of value furnished in violation of this section, or if the difference between the value of all money, goods, services and anything else of value actually furnished and the value represented to the issuer to have been furnished in violation of this section, is less than $500 in any six-month period; conviction of credit card fraud is punishable as a Class 6 felony if such value is $500 or more in any six-month period.

(4) Any person who conspires, confederates or combines with another, (i) either within or without the Commonwealth to commit credit card fraud within the Commonwealth or (ii) within the Commonwealth to commit credit card fraud within or without the Commonwealth, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.6; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1978, c. 364; 1980, c. 99; 1981, c. 197; 1985, c. 266; 1991, c. 546; 2018, cc. 764, 765.

§ 18.2-195.1. Credit card factoring.

A. Any authorized person who presents to the issuer or acquirer for payment a credit card or credit card number transaction record of a sale which was not made by such person or his agent or employee, without the express authorization of the acquirer and with intent to defraud the issuer, acquirer or cardholder, is guilty of a Class 5 felony. If such act is done without authorization of the acquirer but without intent to defraud, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who, without the express authorization of the acquirer and with intent to defraud the issuer, acquirer or cardholder, employs or otherwise causes an authorized person to remit to an acquirer or issuer a credit card transaction record of sale that was not made by the authorized person is guilty of a Class 5 felony. If such act is done without the authorization of the acquirer but without intent to defraud, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. As used in this section, "authorized person" means a person authorized by the acquirer to furnish money, goods, services or anything else of value upon presentation of a credit card or credit card number by a cardholder and includes an agent or employee of a person having such authority.

1991, c. 546.

§ 18.2-195.2. Fraudulent application for credit card; penalties.

A. A person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if he makes, causes to be made or conspires to make, directly, indirectly or through an agency, any materially false statement in writing concerning the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or of any other person for whom he is acting or any firm or corporation in which he is interested or for which he is acting, knowing the statement to be false and intending that it be relied upon for the purpose of procuring a credit card. However, if the statement is made in response to an unrequested written solicitation from the issuer or an agent of the issuer to apply for a credit card, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

B. A person who knows that a false statement has been made in writing concerning the financial condition or ability to pay of himself or of any person for whom he is acting or any firm or corporation in which he is interested or for which he is acting and who with intent to defraud, procures a credit card, upon the faith of such false statement, for his own benefit, or for the benefit of the person, firm or corporation in which he is interested or for which he is acting, and obtains by use of the credit card, money, property, services or any thing of value, is guilty of grand larceny if the value of whatever is obtained is $500 or more or petit larceny if the value is less than $500.

C. As used in this section, "in writing" shall include information transmitted by computer, facsimile, e-mail, Internet, or any other electronic medium, and shall not include information transmitted by any such medium by voice transmission.

1991, c. 546; 2007, c. 518; 2018, cc. 764, 765.

§ 18.2-196. Criminal possession of credit card forgery devices.

(1) A person is guilty of criminal possession of credit card forgery devices when:

(a) He is a person other than the cardholder and possesses two or more incomplete credit cards, with intent to complete them without the consent of the issuer; or

(b) He possesses, with knowledge of its character, machinery, plates or any other contrivance designed to reproduce instruments purporting to be credit cards of an issuer who has not consented to the preparation of such credit cards.

(2) A credit card is incomplete if part of the matter, other than the signature of the cardholder, which an issuer requires to appear on the credit card before it can be used by a cardholder, has not yet been stamped, embossed, imprinted or written upon.

Conviction of criminal possession of credit card forgery devices is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.7; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-196.1. Unlawful use of payment card scanning devices and re-encoders; penalty.

A. Any person who with malicious intent uses a scanning device or a re-encoder on the payment card of another without the permission of the authorized payment card user is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who violates this section and sells or distributes such information to another is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. Any person who violates this section and uses such information in the commission of another crime is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

D. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Authorized payment card user" means any person with the authorization or permission to use any payment card to obtain, purchase, or receive goods, services, money, or anything else of value from a merchant.

2. "Merchant" means an owner or operator of any mercantile establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, consignee, officer, director, franchisee, or independent contractor of such owner or operator who receives from an authorized payment card user or someone he believes to be an authorized payment card user, a payment card or information from a payment card, or what he believes to be a payment card or information from a payment card, as the instrument for obtaining, purchasing or receiving goods, services, money, or anything else of value from him.

3. "Payment card" means a credit card, charge card, debit card, hotel key card, stored-value card, white plastic, or any other card containing encoded information that allows an authorized payment card user to obtain, purchase, or receive goods, services, money, or anything else of value from a merchant.

4. "Re-encoder" means an electronic device that transfers encoded information from the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different payment card.

5. "Scanning device" means a scanner, reader, or any other electronic device that is used to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, temporarily store, or permanently store encoded information on the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card.

2005, c. 166.

§ 18.2-197. Criminally receiving goods and services fraudulently obtained.

A person is guilty of criminally receiving goods and services fraudulently obtained when he receives money, goods, services or anything else of value obtained in violation of subsection (1) of § 18.2-195 with the knowledge or belief that the same were obtained in violation of subsection (1) of § 18.2-195. Conviction of criminal receipt of goods and services fraudulently obtained is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of all money, goods, services and anything else of value, obtained in violation of this section, is less than $500 in any six-month period; conviction of criminal receipt of goods and services fraudulently obtained is punishable as a Class 6 felony if such value is $500 or more in any six-month period.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.8; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1981, c. 197; 2018, cc. 764, 765.

§ 18.2-198. Obtaining airline, railroad, steamship, etc., ticket at discount price.

A person who obtains at a discount price a ticket issued by an airline, railroad, steamship or other transportation company from other than an apparent agent of such company which was acquired in violation of subsection (1) of § 18.2-195 without reasonable inquiry to ascertain that the person from whom it was obtained had a legal right to possess it shall be presumed to know that such ticket was acquired under circumstances constituting a violation of subsection (1) of § 18.2-195.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.9; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-198.1. Venue.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-244, a prosecution for a violation of this article may be had in any county or city in which (i) any act in furtherance of the crime was committed or (ii) an issuer or acquirer, or an agent of either, sustained a financial loss as a result of the offense. A prosecution for a violation of § 18.2-192 may be had in any county or city where a credit card number is used, is attempted to be used, or is possessed with intent to violate § 18.2-193, 18.2-195, or 18.2-197.

1991, c. 546; 2008, c. 797.

§ 18.2-199. Penalties for violation of article.

Persons violating any provision of this article for which no other specific punishment is provided for shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-125.10; 1968, c. 480; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

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