D&D Daily Call to Action
Let's Pass the INFORM Consumers Act

'Retail America - the Opioid Epidemic's Silent Victim.'

Let's Get INFORM Passed & On Biden's Desk

This is Your Bill - Your Opportunity - Your Obligation

With the INFORM Act currently being considered in both Houses the retail industry has a unique opportunity to almost eradicate the biggest legalized fencing operation in history. As in many regards Amazon marketplace along with other market places represents the largest fencing operation in the world.

All of which are fueling and enabling the nations opioid epidemic. As 'Retail America is the Opioid Epidemic's Silent Victim.'

With virtually every law enforcement officer involved in the ORC effort will testify to the fact, that ORC in their respective areas is almost solely driven by the opioid epidemic crushing this nation and spiking now during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to recent reports.

And our industry, which carry's the torch in this fight, has an obligation right now to get involved, get your retail executive leadership involved and communicate support for the two bills at each step during its journey through the congressional processes. As it won't be easy and there will be opposition i assure you.

As the last time we were in a similar fight in Congress, which was being driven by Joe LaRocca when he was VP LP at the NRF, we got very close to being enacted. The issue then was, which we found out a few years after the loss, that the National Flea Market Association immediately built a lobbying effort to specifically counter the bill that would have required their vendors to prove purchase of goods.

This lobbying effort, totally non-existent prior to the bill, had an impact. The degree to which is unknown even today. However just take a look at their current lobbying team and you'll see a strong effort.

And Amazon has a significant lobbying arm very well established and already in the game. So we need every retailer in America sending letters, emails, and calling their elected officials. Remember this is your bill. It's your opportunity to make an impact on over a $30 billion problem and in the process save some lives and make a difference.

Read below for the details, contact info, and supporting evidence as we continue to build a tool box for you to use. In the meantime, if anyone has suggestions, input, and wants to lend their time or data please email us and let's go win this battle. Thanks. -Gus Downing


Retail Support for the INFORM Consumers Act

RILA Weighs in on INFORM Act
CNBC: Op-Ed: Congress must address organized retail crime at Big Tech hearing

RILA President Pens Op-Ed & Takes Action on ORC
Brian Dodge, Retail Industry Leaders Association

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, leading retailers say that organized retail crime networks are becoming even more aggressive.

To protect the safety of associates working in retail stores and ensure that consumers shopping online are not at risk of buying stolen or counterfeit products, Congress must intervene, says Brian Dodge, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Dodge says lawmakers should focus on eliminating the ability of criminals to hide behind anonymous selling accounts on online marketplace platforms.

Retailers have long reported costly problems with organized retail crime, and the Department of Homeland Security recently warned that third-party online marketplaces are facilitating the trafficking of pirated goods. But this year, in the midst of the pandemic, leading retailers say that these networks are becoming even more aggressive, which is consistent with past surges in retail theft during times of economic contractions. Continue Reading

Legislation is first step in curbing organized retail crime
Online Marketplaces Should be Required to Verify Seller Info

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced its support for the INFORM Consumers Act, legislation introduced today by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) which will require common-sense disclosures and accountability from big tech platforms like who increasingly sell products from third party sellers on their websites. The bill is designed to provide consumers with greater transparency by requiring online marketplaces to simply verify a seller's information and for the seller to provide contact information to consumers. This legislation will hold big tech marketplaces accountable for fraudulent transactions and allow law enforcement to better identify high-frequency sellers suspected of trafficking stolen and counterfeit goods.

"Consumers continue to buy items online in record numbers, and that shift has exposed a growing and dangerous trend that must be dealt with immediately-the exponential growth of stolen and counterfeit goods sold through online marketplaces," said RILA Senior Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Michael Hanson "The INFORM Consumers Act provides a measured response to this problem by requiring online marketplaces to verify information about the sellers on their platform."

Walgreens Supports INFORM Consumers Act Introduction in U.S. House of Representatives

House & Senate Bills

March 10, 2020 U.S. Senate: ORC Legislation
Cassidy, Durbin Introduce INFORM Consumers Act to Require Greater Transparency from Third-Party Sellers for Online Products

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today to fight the online sale of stolen, counterfeit and dangerous consumer products by requiring extensive transparency of large-volume third-party sellers in online retail marketplaces.

The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM) Act would mandate online retail marketplaces that include third-party sellers of consumer products to authenticate the identity of "high-volume third-party sellers," which will help equalize transparency among brick-and-mortar retailers and prevent organized retail crime rings from stealing items from these stores to resell those items in bulk online.

"Criminal third-party sellers trick consumers into buying counterfeit and hazardous products online. This bipartisan bill provides information so that consumers can distinguish between genuine retailers and frauds in the internet marketplace," said Dr. Cassidy.

The INFORM Consumers Act will verify high-volume third-party sellers by acquiring the seller's government ID, tax ID, bank account information and contact information. High-volume third-party sellers are defined as vendors who have made 200 or more discrete sales in a 12-month period amounting to $5,000 or more.

"We're pleased to see the U.S. Senate work toward keeping online marketplaces accountable for the products sold on their platforms which will prevent criminals from selling counterfeit and stolen goods to unsuspecting customers," said Scott Glenn, Vice President of Asset Protection for The Home Depot.

July 23, 2020 U.S. House of Representatives: ORC Legislation
U.S. Rep. Schakowsky Introduces Legislation (IL-09) to Protect Consumers Online

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, introduced legislation to combat the online sale of stolen, counterfeit, and dangerous consumer products by requiring verification of third-party sellers on online retail marketplaces. The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act directs online platforms that allow for third-party sellers of consumer products to authenticate the identity of high-volume third-party sellers, which will provide consumers with much-needed information and also prevent organized retail crime. The bill will also ensure that consumers can see basic identification and contact information for high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products on online marketplaces. U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) have introduced the Senate companion bill, and Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) is an original cosponsor of the House bill. 

The INFORM Consumers Act directs online marketplaces to verify high-volume third-party sellers by acquiring the seller's government ID, tax ID, bank account information, and contact information. High-volume third-party sellers are defined as vendors who have made 200 or more discrete sales in a 12-month period amounting to $5,000 or more. 

The legislation instructs online marketplaces to order their high-volume third-party sellers to disclose to consumers the seller's name, business address, email address, phone number, and whether the seller is a manufacturer, importer, retailer, or a reseller of consumer products. The online marketplace will also need to supply a hotline to allow customers to report to the marketplace suspicious marketplace activity such as the posting of suspected stolen, counterfeit, or dangerous products. 

"Reducing retail crime is about much more than protecting our products from being stolen. Our employees and customers are put at risk when these crimes are committed in our stores. Minimizing these threats and protecting our people starts with making it harder to sell stolen goods online and it will be harder for criminals to sell online when the marketplaces increase their accountability by verifying basic information about the sellers. Ulta Beauty thanks Congresswoman Schakowsky for her leadership and strongly supports The INFORM Consumers Act," said Ulta Beauty CEO and Retail Industry Leaders Association Chair Mary Dillon.

How You Can Make A Difference

The most effective way to make a difference is to contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to support the INFORM Consumers Act.

Contact your senator here
Contact your House member here

Click here to read more about the INFORM Act in the D&D Daily's March 11 Special Report