WEST CHESTER (October 16, 2019) – Anglers and hunters should be careful to avoid online scams when purchasing licenses, state Senator Andy Dinniman said today.  

The warning follows several reports, sent to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pennsylvania Game Commission, of customers purchasing “third-party” licenses, and then never receiving said license.

“I know many outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen and women are taking advantage of the fall weather to enjoying our regions abundant hunting and fishing opportunities,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, said. “But if you are buying a license online, be sure to do so through PFBC and the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s official, online portal, The Outdoor Shop at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com.

“Buying a license from a third-party runs the risk of you not only paying added fees and losing you money, but also putting your personal information at risk,” he added.

Purchasing Pennsylvania licenses and permits through the PFBC and Game Commission’s online portal, The Outdoor Shop, or through in-person sales from a retail license issuing agent are the only proven, reputable, and reliable methods.

The Game Commission has received reports from hunters and trappers, meanwhile, who bought licenses from imitation websites that try to copy the agencies’ branding and imagery. On these sites, they offer discounts in exchange for personal info, like your social security number.

When you purchase your fishing license from the PFBC through the Outdoor Shop, a printable electronic version (.pdf) of your fishing license is issued immediately. Hunting licenses purchased online through the Outdoor Shop are confirmed at the time of sale through an official email from the Game Commission and licenses are mailed to the buyer within two weeks of purchase.

Anyone who encounters a website offering the sale of a Pennsylvania fishing or hunting license that does not link to The Outdoor Shop to complete the transaction should call the PFBC Fishing License Help Line at (877)707-4085 or the Game Commission’s license division at (717)787-2084. Victims of a fishing or hunting license scam should notify the PA Attorney General by completing a Scams Complaint Form