SENATE, No. 566

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits display of gift card account numbers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning the sale of gift cards and supplementing P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to sell or offer to sell a gift card, as defined in section 1 of P.L.2002, c.14 (C.56:8-110), unless it is packaged or displayed in such a manner as to prevent a person from viewing the gift card account number prior to purchasing the gift card.

 

     2.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would make it an unlawful practice to sell gift cards unless they are packaged or displayed in a manner that would prevent a person from viewing the gift card account number prior to purchasing the gift card.

     A popular scam for criminals is to record gift card account numbers while in a store, and use the customer service telephone number to verify if the card has been activated.  Once it is, they quickly make Internet purchases using the gift card account number.  This legislation is designed to protect consumers by guaranteeing that their gift card account numbers remain private prior to purchase.

     An unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act is punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. In addition, a violation can  result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party.