Schakowsky Supports Bill That Would Force Online Sellers To Identify Themselves

by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

December 8, 2021

CHICAGO – Rep. Jan Schakowsky is sponsoring a new bill to help protect consumers from purchasing stolen goods from “organized retail crime.”

Large-scale smash and grabs have been on the rise across the country, in which a large group of people rush into a store at the same time, grab everything they can carry, and flee.

The new legislation focuses on stolen goods being sold on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

According to Schakowsky, The INFORM Consumers Act would require platforms to verify sellers’ identities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the National Retail Federation reports a 57 percent increase in organized retail crime, fueled in part by a massive increase in online shopping.

In November, a CVS executive testified before the Senate that the average professional thief who targets a CVS gets away with $2,000 in merchandise in just two minutes.

“There are legitimate businesses trying to sell their products online who are being ripped off . . . In the meantime, it’s difficult for consumers to be aware.  We want to make sure that defrauders and scammers are unable to sell on the internet.” Schakowsky said.

Jan Schakowsky is married to political consultant Bob Creamer.  Creamer, the former executive director of the Illinois Public Action Fund, was indicted in federal court on March 11, 2004, on 16 counts of bank fraud involving three alleged check-kiting schemes in the mid-1990s, which caused at least $2.3 million in temporary shortfalls at several depositors.  Creamer pleaded guilty in August 2005 to one count of failing to collect $1,892 in withholding tax as well as one count of bank fraud for writing checks with insufficient funds.

Frank Conklin, Illinois Political Reporter/Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.