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06/16/2024 04:15 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42257
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 8, 2024 12:22 PM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi
To: All House members
Subject: Preventing Gift Card Scams
 
Gift cards are a convenient type of present, but they are also increasingly a convenient form of payment demanded by scammers seeking to take advantage of Pennsylvanians. They are easy to purchase, almost impossible to track, and allow fraudsters to quickly move the money on them, making them a popular payment method demanded by scammers.
 
To those who suffer significant financial losses from a gift card scam, the effects can be devastating. Reports of gift card fraud to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker increased by 50% in 2023, while the Federal Trade Commission reported that victims lost $217 million due to gift card fraud last year. My office has been contacted by constituents who’ve lost thousands as a result of these scams, and there’s a need to do more to prevent them.
 
My legislation would help protect consumers and prevent gift card fraud by requiring retailers selling gift cards to post clear signage warning consumers about gift card scams and what to do if they suspect they might be a victim of a potential scam. Retailers would also be required to train their employees on how to identify and respond to gift card fraud. The Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection would be directed to produce model signage and training to help retailers with the implementation of these requirements.
 
These measures could make the difference in stopping someone from spending their life savings on gift cards to pay an impostor pretending to be a loved one or a government agency. As scammers get increasingly sophisticated in their methods, we need to do all we can to educate the public and make sure they have the information they need to not become the next victim of fraud. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to protect Pennsylvanians and help prevent our residents from losing money to gift card scams.



Introduced as HB2186