Citation[edit | edit source]

Credit Card Fraud Act of 1984, codified at 18 U.S.C. §1029.

Overview[edit | edit source]

This law was enacted primarily to control credit card fraud and credit card counterfeiting. Because the definition of credit card is broad, the law covers many computer-related offenses. The objects of the offenses are "access devices," which are defined as

any card, plate, code, account number, or other means of account access that can be used alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value or that can be used solely to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument).

In a computer crime context, the offenses include the following:

(1) Fraudulently producing, using, or trafficking in one or more counterfeit devices.
(2) Fraudulently trafficking in or using one or more unauthorized devices and obtaining anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during a one-year period.
(3) Fraudulently possessing 15 or more counterfeit or unauthorized devices.
(4) Fraudulently producing, trafficking in, having control or custody of, or possessing devices-making equipment.

Punishment ranges from $10,000 to $100,000 or 10-20 years in prison. Multiple convictions increase penalties.

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