Scanner Scam

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Now that many of our holiday checklists are slimming down, you might want to double check your receipts. Chances are an item rang up for a higher price than the one marked on the shelf. Shopper Betty Bible says she always makes sure she isn't overcharged and made a victim of what some are calling "scanner scams."

"I always look at the prices and make sure I'm watching the register and making sure the item that i have in my hand and the one that's ringing up costs what it's supposed to," Bible says.

Scanner scams are such a problem in the state, that lawmakers are trying to make it illegal. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn is calling for the General Assembly to pass the Retail Consumer Protection Act.

"By ending scanner scamming we can help the consumer and make sure our state is a national model for protecting the ordinary person who's shopping here in the Christmas season," Quinn says.

This law would fine any store caught charging more than advertised. Employees at the Family Dollar say their pricing is usually accurate, but a law would make them that much better.

"I think it would definitely increase the attention and accuracy given to pricing," says Mark Olsen, manager of Family Dollar off East State Street.

Quinn is also working on setting up a scanner overcharge hot line, which info would be posted at checkout counters and printed on all receipts.

A study done at the University of Illinois at Chicago tested 78 Walmart stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. They found that for every 14 customers, one was always overcharged.

Lieutenant Governor Quinn also says he wants to make stores pay victims up to three-dollars per item overcharged And have the state levy fines up to 5-thousand dollars per price scanner overcharge incident. This is modeled after a similar law already in place in California.


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