Owning A Credit Card Skimmer Officially A Crime

Owning A Credit Card Skimmer Officially A Crime

HARRISBURG PA – A change in Pennsylvania law that takes effect in late August makes it illegal for anyone to steal personal or financial data by skimming information from credit cards used at places like automatic teller machines or self-pay fuel pumps, 147th District state Rep. Marcy Toepel reported Thursday (July 26, 2018).

Card-skimming thefts made big headlines in Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick, Spring City, and Pennsburg during a four-month period between December 2017 and this March. Dozens of consumers had financial accounts hacked by subjects who placed skimming devices on accessible card readers. The devices can read and remember credit card numbers and access codes, or personal information numbers (PINs).

Until this year, Toepel explained in a weekly newsletter, possessing or owning a skimmer was not illegal even though it serves no purpose other than facilitating a crime. “Anyone convicted of using or possessing a scanning or skimming device now faces a third-degree felony for a first offense, and a second-degree felony for a second or subsequent offense,” according to her article.

The change is part of the state Act 60 of 2018, which was signed into law on June 28, and becomes effective Aug. 28 (Tuesday). Thirty other states have enacted similar legislation, according to Toepel.

Toepel’s district includes all or parts of West and Upper Pottsgrove, Douglass (Mont.), New Hanover, Lower Frederick, and Upper and Lower Salford townships, and the boroughs of Schwenksville and Green Lane.

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