Los Angeles Consumer Protection Lawyer: Visa, MasterCard Suffers Data Breach

04/16/2012 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // Los Angeles Consumer Protection Lawyer Carey G. Been

Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Consumer Protection Lawyer News) — A data breach by a third-party service provider to some of the largest credit card companies is believed to have jeopardized nearly 1.5 million customers’ personal information. At this time no reports of any fraudulent transactions have been received as a result of the North America information hack, reported Carey G. Been, a California consumer protection attorney at Keller Grover LLP.

Global Payments Inc., a processing firm for all the major card brands—Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express—states that while card numbers may have been stolen, consumers’ addresses and Social Security numbers were not compromised, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Global Payments discovered the security breach about three weeks ago when a “handful of servers” experienced problems. But, consumers weren’t warned about the intrusion until Friday, March 30, 2012.

Since the announcement of the data infiltration, Visa has dropped Global Payments until they come into accordance with data security standards.

Visa and MasterCard maintain that their own systems were not compromised as a result of Global Payment’s breach.

At this time, Global Payments has “multiple information security and forensics firms,” as well as about 100 employees investigating the data break-in, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fox Business also reports that U.S. law enforcement authorities including the Secret Service are joining in on the investigation efforts.

“MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information,” MasterCard said in a statement.

Visa stated that they would not hold any customers accountable for fraudulent purchases.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 1.2 billion credit cards and 530 million debit cards in circulation this year, states Been, a Los Angeles consumer protection lawyer.

San Diego-based nonprofit organization, The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, reports that more than 535 data breaches occurred last year, which involved more than 30.4 million sensitive records. In addition, since 2005, a total of 543 million records have been compromised across the U.S.

“Data breaches such as these can have far-reaching effects for unsuspecting customers,” says Been, a California consumer protection lawyer at Los Angeles-based Keller Grover LLP. “Once consumers learn that their financial information has been disclosed in a data breach, they must stay vigilant. Consumers should immediately report any unusual activity they see on their accounts to their credit card providers. They should also beware of anyone contacting them by telephone or email who is claiming to be a representative of their bank. Identity thieves will often pose as bank representatives in order to obtain any personal information they may need to commit identity theft. If you have been a victim of the data breach and get a call or email asking you for any of your personal information, do not provide it and instead contact your bank using the phone number on the back of your credit card. This will ensure it is really the bank that is seeking this information” Been continues.

This news story was provided to you by Keller Grover LLP, California consumer protection attorneys. If you or someone you love has been a victim of fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive marketplace practices, contacting a knowledgeable Los Angeles consumer protection lawyer can help get the justice you deserve.

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