“Would you like your receipt?" This is a question which most of us give little thought. We either are meticulous about saving receipts without looking at them, or we toss them.
While we believe grocery stores, big-box chains, and retailers protect our debit or credit information, dangerous information can potentially reside on those pieces of paper – unlocking the door for identity thieves to swoop in and steal your information.
What is “FACTA”?
FACTA is a law that provides consumers with protection from identity theft.
Businesses are prohibited from printing receipts reflecting more than five digits of your debit or credit card number, or the expiration date of your card.
If you are given a receipt that has either more than five digits of your card number and/or its expiration date, that’s a FACTA violation. The penalty ranges from $100 to $1000 per violation.
While this might seem like a technicality, it’s important protection because identity thieves scoop up these kinds of receipts and steal consumers’ identity with them.
Recent FACTA Case
In March 2017, Subway agreed to pay out the largest FACTA settlement of all-time, some $31 million.
A consumer sued the chain after finding their full bank card expiration date on a receipt. The class-action lawsuit aimed to collect for the 2.6 million customers who were given these types of receipts and whose information could, therefore, have been compromised.
The settlement is substantial, especially considering that not all Subway locations printed expiration dates on receipts and that the locations that did so only did so for a brief period.
What to Look For
With just a few numbers, either more than the last few digits of your card or those digits and expiration date, thieves can steal your identity, causing financial loss. As any victim of identity theft will attest, the experience can cause a great amount of stress and agony.
Whether you are dining out at a restaurant, buying a big-screen TV at a major retailer, or doing your grocery shopping for your family, it is important to keep an eye on every receipt to ensure your financial information is protected.
How to Protect Yourself
First, ask for and review all receipts! Should you find that a business has compromised your information by putting the expiration date on there (or more than 5 digits of your card number), save the receipt and contact Carter Law Firm right away to discuss proper steps for your protection, such as contacting your bank to ensure there are no unauthorized charges on your card and that your information remains private, among other things.
Carter Law Firm is one of California’s top employment and consumer law attorneys. We have an experienced legal team that understands the laws related to FACTA and your rights as a consumer.