Deerfield Woman Sues Barnes & Noble for Identify Theft

One of the customers of Deerfield store takes action against bookseller for not properly securing her personal information.

A Deerfield woman sued Barnes & Noble for invasion of privacy claiming her credit card information was stolen when shopped at the booksellers’ Deerfield store in August and September, according to a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Chicago.

Susan Winstead filed the complaint for herself and “on behalf of others similarly situated” attempting to create a class action lawsuit against Barnes & Noble arising from compromised pin pads in 63 of the company’s stores throughout the United States, according to the complaint.

Earlier: Deerfield Barnes & Noble Card Readers Were Hacked

“The area of personal data protection is an area of rising public concern and something that needs to be of the utmost importance to the retail and merchant group in the country,” Aron Robinson, one of Winstead’s lawyers, said.

According to the complaint, Winstead received a call from her credit card company in late September about a potentially fraudulent transaction. She confirmed the activity was improper and deactivated the card.

Though Barnes & Noble acknowledged Oct. 24 PIN pads in 63 stores including Deerfield and Evanston had been compromised and information contained there stolen by criminals, it has yet to offer any compensation to the victim, according to the complaint.

The complaint also claims Wintstead and others whose personal information was wrongfully obtained will be required to take corrective action which could leave them more vulnerable to identity theft in the future, according to the complaint.

Robinson believes people should be better protected. “Consumers need to be comfortable providing this kind of information to retailers and know retailers are using every measure possible to secure their customer’s private information,” he said.

In addition to identity theft, Winstead has accused Barnes & Noble of negligence, violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the Act) and further negligence violating the Act.

Barnes & Noble did not respond to a request from Patch for comments.

Dave Rudnick November 01, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Yeah, a lawsuit isn't necessary. The identity thieves, once caught and convicted, should have their hands surgically removed. No jail time. But no hands, either. With enough handless convicts walking around, I bet it would serve as a deterrent and prevent future identity thefts and computer hacking. Does it sound too harsh? Is the punishment too severe for the crime? Would you rather have your tax dollars wasted on three hots and a cot for these low lifes? Why should we all have to pay higher prices at the store to cover losses the business incurs defending lawsuits, higher insurance premiums the stores pay, and the money they spend on security cameras and other anti-theft devices? Make shoplifting, identity theft, and property crime less desirable for criminals and reduce the chance of recividism...off with their hands! Yeah, it sounds barbaric, but can you think of a better way to stop theft?
DeerfieldResident November 01, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Seriously? This is embarrassing. You have no damages. A lawsuit? My guess is that these lawyers went looking for someone to start the ball rolling on their class action lawsuit. I wish Ms. Winstead had said no thank you.
Malta November 01, 2012 at 02:14 AM
you exactly correct! start public lashing like they do in Singapore............crime will rapidly fall off. eventually/ people will demand it/ otherwise no one safe in their home or on the street.
Richard Hertz November 01, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I wonder if this woman was affected by the Michael's problem earlier and how she thinks suing companies is the best thing. I believe it is a stupid thing and it might come back to haunt her in the future. Next time write a check, pay cash or just tell the salesperson to swipe at the register. Is she going to pay her lawyers fees if she loses?
RonnieTheLimoDriver November 02, 2012 at 05:31 PM
The thieves are actually a very small part of the reason the problem goes unsolved. I know that sounds crazy, but its true. I'll illustrate this with a real life example. When I lived in the city, I had my credit card number stolen. The idiot was dumb enough to use my stolen number to pay his phone bill. Open and shut case, right?The real problem is twofold. 1)Lack of law enforcement resources to focus on this problem. I filed a police report and brought the evidence showing how it was used to pay a phone bill. I was told their was 1 detective assigned to all identity fraud for the city of Chicago and he would likely not get to my case given the dollar amounts involved. 2)Lack of decisive action on the part of the credit card companies. They never did anything about the fraud, even though I showed them that they could easily solve the case. They also have the technology, and have for years, to make it near impossible to commit this sort of fraud. However, its cheaper for them to deal with the chargebacks then fix the problem.


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