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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33774
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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What if an authorized user on a credit card, called the card

Customer Question

What if an authorized user on a credit card, called the card company and autorized few payments to pay balance for that credit card, from my checking account that's on file with them!!!
By her doing that without my knowledge my checking account got overdrawn!
Was that a fraud or no?
Also she took cash advance from the credit card that she is an authorized user on!!
What can I do about the situation? Did she do a fraudulent activity or no?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Did that person have access or the right to access your checking account?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, just the credit card!!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is a authorized user on the cc, and my checking account is registered as payment on my credit card for easy of use!!
I did give her my last 4 of my social, and at one point I did tell her she can do that!!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

It probably wouldn't be fraud, although it could be depending on exactly how she completed the transaction, but it would be some form of theft.

If you told her she could use the account to pay the bill and then never specifically told her she couldn't then it wouldn't be a criminal violation. If the police know you told her that she could do it even once then they aren't going to file charges, they will tell you "it's a civil matter".

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well she is a autorized user on the credit card, it was the payments as follows:
The amount is:
6/30: $300 Chase e pay6/27: $200 Chase E pay6/14: $350 Chase Epay6/6: $297Chase Epay
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Being an authorized user on the credit card is completely different than being a user on the checking account. She can be allowed to use the credit card but it does not give her the right to access your checking account.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But she didn't directly access it she just made payments to the cc she is autorized user off!!! Everything was on the file with that credit card!!!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

If she told them to use the account to pay the bill then she did directly access it. There may not be any damages to the person who owned the checking account but it was still an unauthorized access to the bank account.

Again, there are some issues if the person was told they could use the checking account to pay the bill at one time and were never told they couldn't use it, but that really has more to do with whether the police feel they could get a conviction and not really whether there was an unauthorized access.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no person to person talk it was just automated system!!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That has no effect on the issue whatsoever, whether you access the account by telling someone to access it or you access it by punching number of a telephone or using the computer is all the same from a legal point of view.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

The sole issue is whether the person had been authorized to access and use the checking account. If they had been, then there is no crime. If they had not been, then there was a crime. Everything else has to do with damages or side issues.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If she was told at one point she could do it and never told she couldn't what then?
The checking account got overdrawn because of it!!
Also I thought that an authorized user is just that, and that most card issuers consider them to have almost all the rights of the owner of the account?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That would be a defense to prosecution and it would depend on exactly what was said. However, as we discussed above if everyone admits she was told once she could use it and then was never told specifically that she could not then the police and the DA would be very unlikely to pursue the case not because a law wasn't still broken but because it would be too hard for hem to get a conviction.

No, an authorized user doesn't have "all the rights" of the owner of the account. For instance, they don't have the right, typically, to go in and ask that all the card be cancelled, or to raise the credit limit, etc. Usually they are only allowed to use it. And, as I said above, the issue of the card and the issue of the bank account are two entirely different things and nothing about allowing someone to use a credit card give them any rights, inherently, to access account liked to the card.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a person can face criminal charges, it's all up to me right?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

If it is your checking account and you file a police report then it will be up to them whether to pursue it, but the initial step is entirely dependent on you.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as I understand, it's not up to the bank, it's just up to me right?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Generally that's correct. If you contest the charge (to the account) then the bank could file charges after that but unless the charges are contested they won't file. Normally they have you sign an affidavit of forgery or fraud or something along those lines and they then use that to ask the police to prosecute.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok........but how do they prove I didn't call in the payments?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

They may have it recorded, their system may record the phone numbers from with the call was placed, and then they will have your affidavit if you sign it.