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Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 584
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
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I booked a hotel online and typed in my credit card number

Customer Question

I booked a hotel online and typed in my credit card number along with MY NAME as the card holder. 3 days later after i already had stayed at that hotel i got a call from the hotel and they said the police called them and said a lady had called them and said i used her credit card for that hotel purchase. I had no intention of using someone elses credit which i think it clear to be that way since the card holders name was mine since i typed in my card number, something on their end must of went wrong for all this to happen, anyways i called the hotel back and paid immediately with my card and they said they will tell the police i paid but also said the police are doing a investigation, I am just about to go to college and really do not need all this right now! Should i be worried in anyway? Or is there something that i should do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Good evening:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to provide general information regarding your question. I am sure this may be a difficult time for you, so it is my hope that the general information I provide can be of assistance.

As I was reading your scenario, I noticed that you said you called the hotel back and paid with "my" (i.e., your) card. Is this a card different than the one you used to initially booked the hotel with?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i had $800 of fruad on my old card and had to get a new one
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Ok, thanks for that information. Please allow me a few moments to type out a thorough response.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Generally, when there are "false" credit cards used in criminal actions, they involve re-encoded cards. What that means is there is a card with a user's name on it and on the front are a set of numbers. On the back there is a magnetic strip. The magnetic strip also contains numbers. For legitimate cards, the numbers on the front and the numbers on the back match up.

However, in credit card fraud cases, the magnetic strip numbers do not match the numbers in the front. Rather, the numbers in the front are random, meaningless numbers and the numbers on the back belong to another person's (the victim) account.

The reason I bring this up is because these can only be used at point of sales (i.e. at the register) because the only way these fraud cases work is if the merchant physically swipes the card. If there is no physical swiping of the card and the purchase is made online, then this fraud would not be successful.

When a card number does not match the name on the card, merchants will flag it and it will be sent to a fraud department who looks into the discrepancy. If everything else matches, it may be let through or it may lead to another investigation (each company is different).

When it comes to credit card fraud cases, the person must intend to defraud the merchant and/or the actual account holder. The fact that you put in your real name would tend to support the theory that you did not intend to commit any fraud (as no one uses their real name to commit fraud). On top of that, I am assuming you provided your real address (which again tends to indicate you weren't attempting to commit a fraud because you would be easily located).

I will pause here for a moment before continuing so I can let you ask any questions you may have thus far.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you so much! That is what I was thinking also and Yes i used my real name , real address and my email also! I was just worried because I was visiting the town i use to live at and the police there sort of do not like me for a couple of reasons and it is a small town which is why I think they would try to charge me with something when it was a honest mistake
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Also one more very important detail is that my phone which i used to book the room on is messed up and when i click things it usually always acts as if im clicking at multiply things on my screen at once and mistypes things which i could easily prove
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

While it may be a mistake, law enforcement must still look into the matter. There are several security features when it comes to online credit card purchases (and to be honest, I do not know them all in detail). For instance, there are security algorithms used by companies that detect fraud and reject certain purchase attempts. That fact that the card went through at the outset would tend to show that there was most likely a mix-up on the other end (again, since I am not privy to all the information, the best I can do is reasonable estimates).

Also, simply changing one number on a credit card input online would cause the card to be rejected because it would most likely (based on the odds) to lead to an invalid credit card number.

The police are aware of these security features and they will be able to contact the "victim" along with their bank to determine if this constituted an intentional fraud. They will also be able to investigate the credit card processing company and the hotel to see if a mistake or error occurred on their part (which they may believe occurred based on the fact you used your real identity/address).

Nonetheless, there is nothing you can really do to stop police from investigating. They may want to speak to you once they feel they have enough information, and the decision to speak to them will be up to you. It is always wise to invoke your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present. If after speaking with the attorney, you still wish to speak to police, then you can do that with your attorney present. You can then inform the police about your phone issue and explain your position of what occurred.

Questions based on this? If so, please ask.

If not, please remember to click ACCEPT and rate the assistance provided as expert here are not employees of JustAnswer and do not get credited for taking the time to assist until an individual accepts and rates. Your assistance in this regard would be greatly appreciated!

***General information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. It is always wise to consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction as they would be in the best position to assist***

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

I see you read my last posting.

Please click ACCEPT and rate the assistance provided. Thank you

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 9 months ago.

Please click ACCEPT if you have no other questions.