March 9, 2017

Contact: Sen. Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Senator Cowles, Representative Summerfield to introduce legislation to tackle Credit Card Skimmers

MADISON- Today, in a move to tackle the ever growing crime spree of credit card skimmers being used to steal credit card information and commit identity theft, Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer), circulated for co-sponsorship, LRB-1322 and LRB-2426. This legislation will modernize and update Wisconsin law to criminalize the possession, trafficking and use of these devices in our state.

A credit card skimmer is a small electronic device that can be attached to a card reader on a gas pump or ATM to secretly collect your credit card information. In Wisconsin, devices have been found in Appleton, Brookfield, Camp Douglas, Deforest, Eau Claire, Edgerton, Elm Grove, Fort Atkinson, Franklin, Green Bay, Janesville, Juda, Kenosha, Lake Delton, Madison, Marshfield, Mequon, Milton, Oak Creek, Oshkosh, Random Lake, Shawano, Wausau, West Salem, and more are frequently being found.

“It’s bad enough that hardworking Wisconsinites have to worry about having their identities stolen when going to fill up at the pump or withdraw money from an ATM; worse still is our state has no laws on the books to address the full spectrum of this crime. This is a statewide issue that needs a statewide solution,” stated Summerfield.

Wisconsin is currently amongst a minority of states that have not enacted statutes that provide criminal penalties specific to credit card skimming devices, their use, and the supply lines these criminals are using to obtain these devices. This legislation changes that and gives Wisconsin prosecutors new tools to fight these crimes.

“These devices are popping up all over the place. Wisconsinites need the protections from these criminals and our law enforcement agencies need modern laws that accurately reflect the dangers that are impacting our communities,” said Senator Cowles. “As the prevalence of these devices are increasing so is our diligence in addressing these crimes.”

While arrests have been made, skimmer device discoveries are on the rise around the state. By addressing possession and trafficking of the devices we can have an impact before skimmers end up in the hands of criminals who will use them.