What cab happen if someone gave me their credit card but is now saying that I used it without permission?

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What cab happen if someone gave me their credit card but is now saying that I used it without permission?

My friend’s boyfriend was having a party and lent me his credit card in order for me to pick up more beer. I did just that and returned with both the beer and the card which were then returned. Then, 2 weeks later, my friend and her boyfriend had a beef with me and decided to say that I use the credit card fraudulently. They even went as far as to ask the liquor store for security tape to use as proof. Whether or not that actually happened, I don’t know for sure. He said he’s pressing charges. I bought $17 worth of beer on the card. Nothing else. Can they really report this and will it actually escalate? It’s his word against mine and the dollar amount is so low, I feel like the police have better things to do than humor this guy. I just wanted to get an opinion.

Asked on June 19, 2017 under Criminal Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Someone could be arrested and/or charged based on someone's word only, or one word-vs-word--it happens all the time, in many cases involving threats, harassment, theft (the thief may claim the mone or object was theirs), etc. The issues are:
1) How credible are they are witnesses? How credible are you? The authorities do evaluate credibility in trying to determine what really happened.
2) How much is at stake--if only $17, it reinforces your credibility, that you were running an errand for them, since most thieves who take a credit card without permission will charge more than $17.
3) Did you return the card--since you did, that reinforces you were allowed to borrow it.
4) Did you give them the beer you bought--since you did, that also reinforces that you were buying it for them.
So, in sum...in theory, you could face charges over this, but at least three of four factors count in your favor. Add to that the fact that the police don't like to get involved in trivial or minor matters (e.g. $17) given what else is on their plate to worry about (assaults, armed robbery, drugs, major fraud, etc.) and it is highly likely nothing will come of this.


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