One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.
What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud
In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.
Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.
You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.
You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.
You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.
There’s no feeling quite like it. The combination of nervousness and fear you suddenly get when a police officer appears in front of you motioning you to pull over, or when you see the cruiser lights go on behind you. A million things flash through your mind. What did I do? Are they going to arrest me? And, the big one: will I get any demerit points that’ll make my insurance rates go up?
While it’s common to feel some anxiety when you’re pulled over for any reason, it shouldn’t just be about the number of demerit points you might get.
Demerit Points & Why They Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Concern
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses a demerit points system to penalize severe and/or repeated traffic violations. Here are a few demerit point’s facts.
You don’t lose demerit points. You start with zero and they are added to your driving record for some traffic violations.
They stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence.
You can get points for traffic convictions in other provinces and territories.
Penalties range from receiving a warning letter for two to eight points, to a driver’s license suspension of 30 days for 15 or more points.
Why Convictions Matter Most to Insurance Companies
There’s a misconception that you should be most concerned about your demerit points when you get a ticket. While points may affect your insurance rates, they are impacted more by the number and/or severity of the convictions. Here’s how:
The Number of Traffic Tickets & Infractions Tickets and infractions are a sign to insurance companies of increased risk to re-offend. The more you have, regardless of demerit points, the higher the risk you represent to insurers. And the higher your insurance rates will go.
The Severity of the Conviction Generally, insurance companies have three categories for convictions: minor, major and serious. Minor convictions include making an improper right turn (two points) or disobeying a stop sign or railway crossing signal (three points). Major convictions include exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more (six points).
You might accumulate six points from a series of minor convictions, but the major conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more will likely have a greater impact on your insurance rates.
Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.
The very first car-related fatality occurred in London in 1896. Since then, millions of people around the world have died on the road, for a variety of different reasons. Although statistics vary widely from place to place, some factors remain consistent worldwide. Here are six common causes of car accidents:
You’re driving to a friend’s house. Your phone is in your bag on the passenger seat. While waiting at a red light, you hear the unmistakable sound of a text message and see the screen’s light shining up at you invitingly. The light is still red, and you might have time to read it. You reach over and grab the phone. It’s your friend asking if you’re bringing your partner. You’re not, and you feel the need to reply. Now the light is green, so you cradle the phone in one hand and steer with the other, typing as many characters as you can between quick glances at the road. Your mind is trying to both answer and drive, and meanwhile, you’re spelling everything wrong and getting frustrated. Continue reading →
Today CBC news published an article titled “Inconsistent radar testing casts doubt on validity of millions of speeding tickets”. For your reference, see the article written by Marnie Luke, Lori Ward, and CBC News here: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/speeding-tickets
This article has gained some traction through social media today, and is starting to become a topic of conversation in some circles. It is very important that in reading this article, we take this information with a grain of salt and understand what this means in a practical sense to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves charged with a Speeding offence. Continue reading →
If you operate commercial vehicles in Ontario, you are subject to the rules of Ontario’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) system and the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) Program. These systems are in place to maintain the safety of Ontario’s roads by rating and inspecting commercial vehicles and drivers. As an operator, there many aspects of your CVOR rating you need to be aware of. The following information is good to know in general, but especially useful if you find yourself charged with a traffic infraction or offence.
In Ontario, doctors are required by law to report anyone over 16 who they believe is not able to drive safely due to a medical condition. They file their report with the Ministry of Transportation, which may then request more information, or may suspend the license without need for further evidence. Some of the more common conditions that lead to a medical suspension include alcohol/drug abuse, epilepsy, diabetes, and major vision problems, among others. The timeline and necessary steps for getting a license reinstated depends on the severity and nature of the condition, and will require proof that the driver has taken these steps and can now drive safely.
Distracted driving is becoming a more prevalent problem on today’s roads, and more responsible for crashes than ever before. If you consider yourself a multi-tasking genius, taking a look at some statistics will turn you off distracted driving. It only takes one second of distraction to miss something important; the guy slamming on his breaks in front of you, the cyclist taking a hard left across your lane of traffic, or the pedestrian stepping out into traffic without a pedestrian walk. It’s the driver’s responsibility to be aware enough to react to unforeseen events on the road ahead. Are you guilty of being distracted? Check out Part 3 of our series for ways to break the habit! Continue reading →
We’ve all been guilty of fumbling around with precariously perched items, buzzing electronics, or excited dogs/children while driving, especially when we are in a panicked-induced state of mind. In this modern age where everything we do seems to be distracted, how can we cut down on distracted driving? Here are five easy tips: Continue reading →
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