This is a complex tale based in Kentucky, USA. I did independent work for a company, fixing computers, and other minor IT work. They payed me via paypal, and used a credit card to do it. As the months went on, they would put money in my paypal, for me to buy them stuff online, and let me keep a little for fees and the trouble. Nothing in writing. Few months later, they did a chargeback for everything. The total, fittingly, was $2,666 dollars.

I always took money out of paypal asap, since I don't trust them to hold money, so now my paypal balance is massively negative. I know it is my fault for trusting them. But all seemed well.

The question is, will I get charged with credit card fraud? I understand getting ripped off, but don't want to goto jail.

1 Answer 1


From what you have written, they have committed fraud, not you (by paying and then attempting to steal back funds). Note that my answer assumes you have put in all the germane points – your advice that ”it's massively complex” implies there could be other factors – including just how much the ”little extra” is.

It's highly unlikely you could be charged with fraud for taking money out of a paypal account – it has been given to you after all. This is not the same thing as saying no fraud occurred, just that withdrawing funds from your paypal account is not an act of fraud.

You also did not commit CREDIT CARD FRAUD as you did not use their credit card (unless you knew the card they were using did not belong to them). Credit Card Fraud occurs when you use someone else's card without their permission.

  • 1
    Good answer. One caveat: Withdrawing money from an account could be pursued as "fraudulent conveyance," but that's a civil cause of action, not a crime.
    – feetwet
    Jul 3, 2016 at 17:12

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