If someone tries to buy something online w9rh a credit card number that isn’t theirs but the sale is declined, not goods or services received and zero dollars actually charged, are they guilty of fraud and what type of penalty could they face?

A friend may or may not have tried using someone’s card to make a purchase
online. They transaction was imediatey declined, nothing was charged. But
the action was reported and police are investigating her. She isn’t taking
but is scared because the police told her it’s a felony, 5 years minimum in
jail. Is this true? Oh she’s in South Carolina if that matters. Thanks

Asked on November 2, 2018 under Criminal Law, South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Once your friend tired to illegally use the card, then that constituted a crime. It was the attempt that was illegal. This is so regardless of whether or not the purchase actually went through.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you try to commit a crime (e.g. try to charge things on another person's card without their permission) and fail, you have still committed a crime. Being charged with or convicted of a crime does not depend on succeeding.

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