Heartland Fallout

Two Philadelphia law firms have filed class action suits on behalf of all cardholders in the U.S. who had their credit or debit card data stolen in the Heartland Payment System data breach. The Princeton-based company announced the breach on January 20. This brings to three the total number of class action lawsuits filed against the Princeton payments processor.

Three men in Florida, meanwhile, have been arrested for using the stolen data. The Leon County sheriff’s office in Tallahassee has reported that the men were caught using stolen credit card numbers for purchases at Wal-Mart stores in the area.

The suspects allegedly used the stolen numbers to electronically encode Visa gift cards that were then used to purchase merchandise that the men later sold. Officials in Tallahassee have so far linked $100,000 in fraud losses to the stolen card numbers and say that the amount is likely to be much higher before the investigation is over.

The law firm of Berger & Montague has filed a class action suit alleging Heartland’s failure to safeguard cardholder data when the company’s computer systems were hacked and cardholder data was stolen. Heartland says last year it processed 100 million card transactions per month, but an unknown number of cards were affected by the breach.

The third class action lawsuit filed in February against Heartland comes from Sheller P.C. of Philadelphia. To date, more than 330 financial institutions have come forward to say their customers’ cards were compromised because of the breach.

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY), 90 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; 888-798-3131; fax, 609-683-3815. Robert Carr, CEO. www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com.

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