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Lawsuit: Restaurant’s receipts violate federal law

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Kevin Murphy
November 16, 2011
— A Burger King restaurant in Walworth continues to violate federal law by printing too much customer credit card information on cash register receipts, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act includes provisions to protect consumers against identity theft, including prohibiting retailers from printing receipts with more than five digits of a customer’s credit card number.


The lawsuit filed in federal court in Milwaukee alleges the Burger King restaurant in Walworth and others owned by Southern Wisconsin Foods of Waterloo printed receipts in violation of federal law as recently as August.


The lawsuit was filed in behalf of Ronald Magolski of McHenry, Ill. It alleges a Burger King in Lomira printed more than five digits on a receipt issued to Magolski in July.


VISA, Master Card and other credit card processors informed merchants of the federal requirements to abbreviate customer credit card information as early as 2003, according to the suit.


Magolski’s attorney, Frank Jablonski of Madison, had an exasperated remark for the reluctant retailer.


“C’mon already. It’s been years since the credit card companies told these guys to shape up. This still is a source of fraud, and I’m hoping they will stop this practice,” Jablonski said in a phone interview.


More credit card fraud is facilitated through low tech methods such as acquiring account numbers on paper receipts than high tech “hacking” or other “electronic wizardry,” Jablonski said.


Dan Lupont of Southern Wisconsin Foods said card credit receipts the company issues are in compliance with federal law. Some account number digits identify the card’s issuer, and other digits identify information in the transaction that enable the transaction to be tracked later if the customer has a dispute, he said.


Southern Wisconsin Foods operates 18 Burger King restaurants, Lupont said.


The suit seeks class-action status for the “more than hundred” individuals potentially affected by the alleged violations and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.



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