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Theft of services

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Definition Edit

Theft of services is a crime which requires that there be a representation made to the victim by the perpetrator: that such representation be made with the knowledge that the representation (of a past or present material fact) is false; and that it be made with the intention of obtaining the property of another. In addition, there must be an actual reliance by the victim on the false representation, and some resultant injury to him.

Overview Edit

This offense is actually a form of larceny and, as such, it has been proscribed by statute in many States. A number of jurisdictions have also passed theft-of-credit-card statutes, to cover credit card fraud schemes such as acquiring another's personal credit card or credit account number for unlawful purposes.

Whether the crime comes under the general theft-of-services statute or the more specific "credit card" statute, such laws are designed to protect against "false pretenses" theft. Because of the widespread use of credit cards today, this latter type of statute may actually be applied more frequently than a traditional theft-of-services statute.

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