Shakopee law targets gift card fraud; retailers opposed
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (AP) — A new ordinance in Shakopee requires consumers to show a picture ID to buy Visa, Mastercard or American Express gift cards with a credit card at stores.
The move is aimed at reducing fraud, which is among the city’s top three reported crimes and increased 17% last year alone, eating into his department’s time, Police Chief Jeff Tate told the Minneapolis Star Tribune .
The ordinance passed by the City Council earlier this month also prohibits buying the three types of gift cards in a self-service checkout lane.
“Criminals favor these cards because they can get cash quickly, the transactions are largely irreversible and they can remain relatively anonymous throughout,” Tate said.
“We know this ordinance will not stop all frauds, but we do believe it will significantly limit some of the opportunity for fraud to occur in our city,” he said. “I really, honestly, don’t think we’re asking too much of retailers here.”
The Minnesota Retailers Association opposed the ordinance, unsuccessfully urging the council to allow retailers to brainstorm solutions before creating a mandate.
“This ordinance sort of creates the impression ... that the retailer is doing something wrong and bad,” President Bruce Nustad said. “If it’s worth doing, let’s do it at a macro level.”