A discrepancy with Shell Oil-issued credit cards may result in significant damages if the gasoline company is convicted, Courthouse News Service reports.
Natalie Van Straaten has filed suit against Shell and is seeking statutory damages following the realization that the company's printed receipts reveal important card information that could facilitate identity theft
. The news source notes that Shell credit cards have two different numbers embossed on them - a nine-digit account number and a six-digit card number. The layout differs from that used by companies such as Visa or MasterCard, which feature a single series of numbers. Shell's printed receipts don't mask the card's last five digits - a violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, which prohibits merchants from printing a card's expiration date or anything beyond its final five digits on a receipt. This is required to protect customers from identity theft
. U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning wrote in a 20-page decision that "Since Shell chose not to follow the otherwise uniform industry standard when designing its payment cards and masking protocol, its current predicament is of its own making." Even though her identity has not been compromised because of the oversight, Van Straaten seeks retribution of $100 to $1,000 per "occurrence."