Law enforcement card readers can seize money electronically

Law enforcement card readers can seize money electronically

A new tool coming to the Oklahoma Department Of Public Safety will let troopers scan credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards and freeze them.

DPS says the new car readers will help in credit card fraud cases or identity theft, but also help with civil assets forfeiture.

That's what has drawn some concern. Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, said the readers can make it too easy to cross the line.

"They think that they have reasonable doubt, they're going to check your bank account and then they're going to drain the bank account because these card scanners are very scary," Loveless said. "There's a reason the federal government limits where they go to."

Loveless pushed for civil asset forfeiture reform last legislative session. He thinks it thwarts the justice system and could target people who have done nothing wrong. He said had he known about the DPS contract for the card readers sooner, he would have also pushed for regulation.

While Loveless and other forfeiture opponents say they did not know these readers even existed, a DPS spokesperson said other Oklahoma agencies already have them, like the Oklahoma City Police Department.

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