Turn those credit slips into gold

by Walter Olson on May 10, 2007

The Chicago law firm of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC has some wonderful news for you:

We are looking for electronically generated credit / debit card receipts which show either (a) the card expiration date or (b) any digits of the credit/ debit card number other than the last five.

In order to protect consumers against identity theft, an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act with a final effective date of December 4, 2006 requires merchants who accept credit/ debit cards and issue electronic receipts to program their machines to not show either the expiration date or more than the last 5 digits of the credit/ debit card number. The expiration date is important because a thief can use it together with the last four or five digits of the number to reconstruct the entire card number.

It is a violation to show either the expiration date or more than the last 5 digits of the card number. (We have seen some receipts where 4 or 5 other digits are shown, and that is a violation.) It is not necessary that any identity theft have actually occurred. Damages for a willful violation are $100 to $1,000 per receipt. The class representative may be able to obtain some additional compensation.

We have a number of pending cases alleging this violation and are interested in other merchants who are violating the law.

The burgeoning volume of entrepreneurial litigation over insufficiently blinded credit slips is the subject of a recent Wall Street Journal article: see Robin Sidel, “Retailers Whose Slips Show Too Much Attract Lawsuits”, Apr. 28, reprinted Cattle Network, Apr. 28. For more about name partner Daniel Edelman, see Nov. 15, 1999 (infamous BancBoston settlement), Feb. 7, 2000, and Dec. 11, 2006. The Edelman firm’s website has a long listing of notable case involvements which boasts of its role in mortgage escrow class actions, but does not mention BancBoston.

{ 2 comments }

1 Michael Durnack 05.10.07 at 1:51 am

It does not look like any of these will be settled any to soon.

The gov’t is still sending reminders 5 months past the requirement date?

I want to understand how the plaintiffs in these cases can be so sure that none of the violations have resulted in any type of identity theft. It takes some individuals many months to realize they have been compromised.

A statement for a quick dismissal.

2 Mahlon 05.10.07 at 10:45 am

I practice in the area of consumer law and this type of garbage gets my blood hot. When I have a client who has been actually injured by someone wanton conduct, I want to have all the tools available to help my client. But if idiots like this foul the water for everyone by their sleezy approach, this particular tool will either be taken away, or viewed so negatively as to be a detriment to my client.

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