House Committee Hears Testimony On Bill To Toughen Laws Against Card Skimmers

(KXLG) — Legislation that will toughen the laws against violators who are using skimmers at bank ATMs and other retail outlets to illegally obtain a customer’s financial information was before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning. The sponsor of HB 1050 is Watertown Representative Hugh Bartels who says it’s a simple bill to address the problem banks are experiencing. He says it’s a huge issue…

“I’m still a director of a bank and we’re having tons of fraud problems now with our debit cards and its people who don’t travel a lot or buy things online. So we think it’s a skimmer issue that they’re getting the numbers. What this bill really does its changing the crime, the intent of the crime from the intent to defraud to the intent to capture the number. We’re trying to make it easier, if you catch some guy with a big box in his pickup full of skimmers, we don’t want to have to prove that he was going to defraud somebody; we just want to prove that he didn’t have any reason to have them, so his intent was to capture the number.”

The other part of the bill deals with the chips on credit cards…

“Currently the bill, our law, only talks about the magnetic stripe and we’re trying to add the chip to it and put the same penalty on it for capturing chip information. This is a huge, growing problem. You can buy them on the Internet between 35 dollars and a few thousand dollars. If you don’t have a reason to have a credit card scanner, you should be guilty of a crime, because you’re only going to do one thing with it, capture someone’s credit card information.”

The law would make it a class six felony punishable by prison time and a significant fine. ATM skimmer activity has increased 70 percent since 2016 with more sophistication. No action could be taken by the committee until a prison impact statement becomes available to the committee.