Can I be charged with credit card fraud for using my friend’s card?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Understanding the legal boundaries of credit card use in Virginia is essential to avoid potential legal consequences. When it comes to using a friend’s credit card, the key factor is permission. If your friend explicitly grants permission for you to use their card and you adhere to their terms, it generally does not constitute credit card fraud under Virginia law.

Use without permission

However, without permission, the situation changes drastically. Virginia law defines credit card fraud as using a credit card to obtain value with the intent to defraud, whether by using the card without the owner’s consent or by utilizing expired or revoked card information.

Unauthorized use of a credit card carries serious consequences, as it constitutes fraud. Depending on the value involved and the frequency of fraudulent activity, penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Protections and prevention

The Fair Credit Billing Act offers avenues to dispute fraudulent charges. However, to prevent misunderstandings and legal issues, it is crucial for both cardholders and users to understand the importance of clear communication and consent. Regularly monitoring statements and maintaining open communication can help prevent disputes and potential legal problems.


In cases where there is a disagreement over a charge permitted by the cardholder, it is important to differentiate between fraud and a dispute. The processes for handling these situations differ as one is criminal and the other is civil. This is why there is a need for clarity and understanding.


While Virginia law permits the use of another’s credit card with permission, it draws a strict line at unauthorized use. By understanding these laws, individuals can navigate credit card use responsibly and legally.