How FACTA Deters ID Theft
Identity theft is a prevalent crime in the United States, with approximately 9 million cases each year. Thieves who steal people’s identities to commit fraud can deplete funds, hurt consumer’s credit scores and even make it difficult for patients to receive medical treatment. In 2003, Congress passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or “FACT” Act (FACTA), which included provisions for ID theft.
THE RED FLAGS RULE
The Red Flags Rule is a provision of FACTA that requires businesses and organizations, particularly financial institutions, banks, and creditors, to have a game plan for identifying and deterring theft. Since the Act was initiated, thousands of companies are required to develop an Identity Theft Prevention Program to detect possible instances of fraud or “red flags” on consumer accounts, whether they are existing accounts or they have just opened.
The company’s Red Flags Program is required to include policies and procedures for handling suspicious activity upon detection. The Program must also be consistently updated to ensure that it continues to identify ever-changing risks. Part of their Program must also acknowledge address discrepancies for credit and debit accounts and include policies and procedures to resolve them.
TRUNCATION OF CREDIT CARD DIGITS
In addition to financial institutions keeping guard on consumer checking and credit accounts, FACTA maintains a set of rules for printed receipts. These rules require merchants to avoid exposing too much credit card information on paper. Companies cannot print more than the final 5 digits of the account number, and cannot print the expiration date of the credit card in any shape or form. Even a pair of digits from the expiration date displayed on your receipt is a violation for which — and here’s the silver lining for this provision — violators can face statutory damages of up to $1,000.
Consumers who have had their credit card information exposed can receive damages of up to $1,000 per violation with the counsel of a FACTA attorney specializing in consumer law. Any noncompliant receipt is proof enough that this violation was committed; consumers need not show proof that they were negatively impacted in any way.
If you have had your sensitive credit card information exposed by a retailer, you could win a significant reward. Contact Jibrael S. Hindi and his team of FACTA attorneys in Fort Lauderdale and across the state of Florida by calling 1-844-JIBRAEL or contact us online for a case evaluation.