|For Immediate Release
December 20th, 2004
(714) 347-8405 (O)
(714) 323-4486 (C)
CARLTON CARDS AGREES TO PAY $100,000 IN CIVIL PENALTIES AND COSTS FOR UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES THAT CREATED AN IDENTITY THEFT RISK FOR CONSUMERS
Santa Ana – Carlton Cards Retail, Inc., a subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation has settled an unfair business practices case with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the State Attorney General’s Office. The card company is required to pay $75,000 in civil penalties and another $25,000 in investigation costs while also replacing/upgrading all of its credit card processing machines throughout the State of California.
On January 1, 2004, Civil Code Section 1747.9 made it illegal for any electronically printed credit card receipt to contain more than the last five digits of a credit card account number. In April, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office began investigating all seven Carlton Cards stores. The investigation found that the stores were failing to comply with the regulation and printing the entire credit card number on customer receipts. This creates a potential identity theft risk because that receipt is all anyone would need to access the account or create a new card. The company has since come into compliance by upgrading all of its credit card processing machines at the more than 40 Carlton Card locations statewide.
“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Last year alone identity thieves stole $5 billion from their victims. It is imperative that we protect consumer credit and stay on the look out for thieves, especially, during the holidays when people use credit cards more frequently.”
This morning, in Orange County Superior Court, the Honorable Judge Robert Gallivan signed the final judgment which requires the company to pay civil penalties and investigation costs. Deputy District Attorney Priscilla Cloud in the Consumer and Environmental Fraud unit prosecuted the case.