| May 4, 2011

New stolen credit card law awaits Florida governor’s signature

In an effort to stem the rising number of amount of fraudulent credit card debt being racked up in the state, the Florida Senate recently approved a bill that will increase the penalty for using a stolen account.

The Florida state Senate recently voted unanimously to approve a new law that will make possession and use of a stolen debit or credit card a third-degree felony, according to a report from The Associated Press. HB 339 was approved with a 38-0 vote and sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

The law will penalize anyone carrying a stolen credit or debit card as long as the person is aware – or should be – that the piece of plastic is stolen, the report said. As a consequence, prosecutors will not have to prove intent to use or sell the card.

Currently, the state makes possession of a stolen card a misdemeanor, and using stolen account numbers is covered by a different law, the report said.

Florida is one of the nation’s leaders in identity theft and credit card fraud, and lawmakers taking steps to address the problem may slow the trend.

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