Horry County officials and local media are warning residents to watch out for fraud after police found devices on gas pumps that can be used to steal credit card information.
The strong reactions these kinds of crimes get from police and in the media can help innocent people avoid becoming a victim, but they can also affect the way the cases are handled and the way you are treated if you are accused.
If you are charged with credit card fraud or identity theft, you could be tried and convicted in the media long before you get to a courtroom. Because of heightened media attention to such crimes, the ordeal could become far more public than you may realize.
Your picture may appear in the local media, bringing embarrassment, shame and long-lasting damage to your reputation. Although you may be innocent of the accusations and even if you are later acquitted or your case is dismissed, you could lose your job. Friends and family may lose trust in you.
Identity Theft and Credit Card Crimes in Myrtle Beach
White collar crimes that are getting this kind of media attention include:
- Identity theft, which involves committing fraud with someone else’s personal information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license, and bank accounts;
- Credit card fraud which involves using someone else’s credit card or credit account to make unauthorized purchases, or selling or buying stolen credit card numbers;
- Phishing or hacking which involves accessing and obtaining personal information via the Internet through deception or without permission; and
- Skimming, which involves using a small device to steal credit card information during a credit or debit transaction.
Penalties for Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud in SC
If you are accused of one of these crimes, you have the immediate negative consequences of public exposure, reputation damage, and possible loss of employment – no one wants to risk having a thief for an employee even if it hasn’t been proven.
If you are convicted of one of these crimes, the stigma of a criminal history for theft could follow you for the rest of your life. In addition to fines, many white-collar defendants are looking at time in prison upon conviction.
Many prosecutors respond to media attention by aggressively pursuing these charges and trying to make an example of defendants – remember, prosecutors in SC are elected officials and they are playing to the public when they decide as a matter of policy which crimes they will pursue the most aggressively.
Often the FBI or other federal agencies get involved in fraud or identity theft cases – a federal prosecution for conspiracy can make the case even more public and the potential penalties even more devastating.
Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Defense Lawyers in Myrtle Beach SC
Your Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will investigate your case, help you to prepare your defense, and help you to locate and retain the right defense experts when needed. Your lawyer will get your case dismissed, negotiate the best possible outcome, or take your case to trial.