Charges for crimes such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and other Internet crimes are becoming more common. Police say that the occurrence of such crimes has risen, and prosecutors have increased their focus on these charges. Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said that identity theft and Internet crime make up one quarter of the prosecutions that his office pursues.
Manhattan prosecutors have charged 39 people with grand larceny and related charges in what they claim is a credit card fraud scheme that resulted in the loss of more than $250,000 worth of luxury goods from Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys in the past year. The people accused include members of Pop Out Boyz, a rap group based in Brooklyn that released a single entitled “For a Scammer,” with lyrics that mention “cracking cards.”
Capt. Christopher Flanagan, commander of the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force, said that credit card fraud is becoming a “big issue” in Brooklyn. Credit card numbers are stolen when customers use them at retailers all over the world, traded on the Internet’s hidden “dark web,” and encoded onto new cards using machines.
Identity theft and credit card crimes are serious charges that require a sophisticated defense. A person accused of such crimes may be wrongly accused, the police or prosecutors may have made mistakes or violated the defendant’s rights, or the person may be a small-time player caught up in a dragnet. Many attorneys are unfamiliar with the complexities of such charges, so it is important to be represented by experienced legal counsel who will explore every possible defense.