Is Using A Fake Credit Card Number Illegal?

By Bruce Boswell •  Updated: 12/14/21 •  6 min read
Filed under: Credit Cards

Credit cards are simple in their premise but can get complicated with all the legal implications and uses that they have attached.

One of the main things that credit card users need to always need to make sure of, is that they are keeping their credit card information safe so that nobody else can use it for their own gain.

Is Using A Fake Credit Card Number Illegal

Like how you are told to never give your credit card number out unless it is to make a secure payment on a trusted server. And not over the phone.

But what about a reverse, in which you give out your credit card freely…but it’s fake? Is that allowed? Or is using a fake credit card number illegal? What are the consequences? Could it depend on the specific circumstance or situation? 

We’ll look into a few different things on this matter. But as a general rule, it is more than safe to assume that it is illegal and that you should never use a fake credit card number. 

But here is the thing, in some circumstances or situations, it doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea to use a fake credit card number, so the idea of it being illegal becomes…blurry, and it can be difficult to know for sure whether you are committing a crime or not. 

For example, what are you supposed to do when you want to use your credit card online? You know, like with the typical websites with cheap purchases, or sites that require your credit card number for a free trial or tester product.

It’s normal to be wary of inputting your credit card number in these situations, because quite often these websites look pretty dodgy, and you can worry they might be a scam. And specifically, if it’s for a free trial, then what’s the harm of using a fake credit card, right? 

It’s still pretty wrong to use a fake credit card number. But we will break down the general rules (although you should look for specific legal information when considering using a fake credit card number or not): 

And that’s kind of the general rules we would recommend following. If you are purchasing something, or are required to provide your credit card number by an official, safe, or trusted server or site, then it is illegal to provide a fake one, and doing so would be classed as fraud. 

Any other time, as long as you aren’t trying to purchase anything, and you’re not harming anyone, then go ahead and use a fake number! 

What Happens If You Use A Fake Credit Card Number?

If you are trying to purchase something and you use a fake credit card number, one of two things can happen: 

If you are trying to use a fake credit card number to gain a free trial or test a site for safety, then either it won’t work, or it will work and no harm is done. In most cases, this is completely okay to do, but you should use an official virtual credit card number generator to do so! 

Can You Go To Jail For Using A Fake Credit Card Number?

This depends on the severity of the fraud that you have committed. If it’s your first time doing this, and you only purchased something relatively cheap, then you will get away with little punishment, and will not go to jail. 

However, if you use a fake credit card number to purchase something of a large value, or you essentially scam people or commit a very severe case of fraud, then you might very well end up in jail! 

Final Thoughts

Using a fake credit card number in order to purchase something, or to lie to an official body of the government or similar, is considered fraud, and is most definitely illegal.

However, there are legal ways in which you can use a fake credit card number, such as by getting one through a virtual credit card number generator and using it to test the functionality or safety of a site or server. 

Bruce BoswellBruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell enjoys researching and writing about all things related to investing and saving money. Whenever he has a chance, Bruce loves travelling all around the world with his wife and trying new foods.