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Class action suit filed in Heartland breach
TRENTON, N.J. (1/30/09)--A class action lawsuit had been filed against payment processor Heartland Payment Systems over the data breach it publicly announced Jan. 20. The breach affected credit unions and their members nationwide. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton, N.J., by Chimicles & Tilellis LLP of Haverford, Pa., on behalf of Alicia Cooper, a Woodbury, Minn., resident. The suit alleges that Heartland “made unreasonable, belated and inaccurate statements concerning the breach” (Bank info Security Jan. 29). The complaint further alleges that Heartland isn’t offering any credit-monitoring services or other relief to consumers affected by the breach. The complaint also says “there are materially misleading statements and omissions in Heartland’s public description of the breach and its consequences.” To view the lawsuit filing, use the resource link. The information breached included card numbers and cardholders’ names. It did not include merchant data, cardholders' Social Security numbers, unencrypted personal identification numbers, addresses or telephone numbers, said the Princeton, N.J.-based company in a press release last week (News Now Jan. 21). Heartland provides card processing services for 250,000 business locations nationwide, most of them small businesses. About 40% of the transactions it processes are from small to mid-sized restaurants nationwide. It also serves community banks, pay-at-the-pump gas stations, school campuses, parking lots and hospitality businesses. It handles more than four billion transactions a year, according to its website. Last week, media nationwide reported that credit union members were among those whose accounts were impacted by the far-reaching breach (News Now Jan. 26). A number of credit unions said they would block the compromised cards and reissue them to protect their members from fraud. Also last week, CUNA Mutual Group announced it is providing guidance to its Plastic Card Insurance policyholder credit unions regarding the breach. CUNA Mutual sent a RISK Alert Jan. 20 to nearly 5,000 Plastic Card Insurance policyholders. The alert provides recommendations for credit unions to mitigate losses (News Now Jan. 22).
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