Bill S437-2013

Relates to theft of credit card and debit card account numbers

Relates to theft of credit card and debit card account numbers.



  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO CODES



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to theft of credit card account numbers and debit card account numbers

PURPOSE: To include the theft of credit card and debit card numbers, in addition to theft of the cards themselves, in the definition of grand larceny in the fourth degree.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the Penal Law by adding a new subdivision 4-a to provide that theft of credit card and debit card numbers with the intent of unlawful use is included within the definition of grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Section 2 provides for an effective date of November first after enactment.

EXISTING LAW: Section 155.30 of the Penal Law provides that theft of credit or debit cards is grand larceny in the fourth degree, however, the law is silent with regard to theft of credit or debit card numbers.

JUSTIFICATION: While it is an E felony to steal property consisting of a credit card or debit card, if a thief steals a credit card account number or a debit card account number instead of the actual, physical card, no crime has been committed until the thief actually uses the account number and obtains goods, money or services. Previously, in order to use a stolen credit or debit card, a person would need to physically possess the card. Now that goods and services can be ordered by phone or over the Internet, only the card number and not the physical card is necessary to use the stolen number fraudulently. Stolen card numbers can also be encoded on plastic to create fraudulent credit or debit cards.

Card numbers can be stolen in a variety of ways. In a retail establishment, a credit or debit card can be entered into a device to capture account information and then the card is returned to the customer who is unaware that his account number has been stolen. Dishonest employees can copy account numbers from sales receipts or during phone orders and thieves can steal credit card bills from the mail or hack into personal computers. Account numbers can also be obtained through phishing -- sending fraudulent e-mails purporting to be from legitimate companies that ask for credit card information to be updated or amended or re-entered by the customer in order to maintain the business relationship.

With technological advances proceeding at a rapid pace, criminals are finding ways to use this new technology before laws can be enacted to address these types of crimes. This is another step for law enforcement to use to protect the public from thieves who would steal

their personal account information and run up fraudulent credit card bills or steal cash through their debit card.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.1411 - Passed Senate 2011: S.1411 - Passed Senate 2008: S.4789 - Passed Senate 2007: S.4789 - Passed Senate



EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1st after enactment.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 437 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to theft of credit card account numbers and debit card account numbers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 155.30 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4-a to read as follows: 4-A. THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF A CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT NUMBER OR A DEBIT CARD ACCOUNT NUMBER WHICH THE PERSON INTENDS TO USE UNLAWFULLY OR KNOWS ANOTHER PERSON INTENDS TO USE UNLAWFULLY; OR S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.


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