By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, PA. (CBS) — Your credit or debit cards will be getting a workout as you hit the malls Friday. A bill is advancing in the state legislature that aims to protect consumers from skimmer devices that are stealing their card numbers.

Currently, it is not illegal to possess skimmers intended to rip off your information. For now, cases are prosecuted under theft and identity theft laws but a bill in the state House would make possession or use of the devices a third degree felony for a first offense. Greg Rowe of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association supports the bill.

“The statute would make it so much clearer and so much more direct and so much more predictable in terms of what the penalties can be,” Rowe said. “And then the sentencing commission can then promulgate what the sentencing guideline range should be for this specific crime, as opposed to having to promulgate guidelines for a very broad theft kind of statute.”

The skimmer bill was reported out of the state House Judiciary Committee earlier this week.

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