It’s another thing to keep using the card after that cardholder dies.That’s what some readers have confessed, and they worry about the consequences.
While it is a crime to use a credit card without the owner’s permission, authorities are unlikely to get involved unless “the amounts involved are either incredibly high (somewhere in the hundreds or thousands) or when there is some sort of link to a ring of credit card fraud,” says Goldstein.
South Carolina attorney Stephen Lesavich, credit card expert and co-author of “The Plastic Effect: How Urban Legends Influence the Use and Misuse of Credit Cards,” warns that the person who lends someone a card and then turns around and accuses that person of fraud may be the one getting in trouble.
People unwittingly commit credit card fraud every day, and sometimes their actions can have unexpected consequences.
As a Credit advice columnist, I get questions from people who have gotten themselves into all kinds of situations where they are afraid they are in danger of being charged with credit card fraud, and could possibly land in jail. The people who steal strangers’ cards don’t seek my advice.
He wrote: “Now she is suing me for 17 charges I made. ” Another reader dated a guy who gave her his gas card and told her to fill up the car.
She admits she not only filled up her car, but she took several hundred dollars out to pay bills and for spending money.Or a parent may have died, and an adult daughter keeps using her mom’s credit card and added to the balance so much that she now can’t pay the bill.There are many ways to get into legal trouble with credit cards without intending to break the law.If you used a credit card after the cardholder died, you should pay off the card if you can.Lesavich says you should then inform the card issuer in writing that the person is deceased, without making any admissions of any kind.Did she book a cruise that they both went on together?