Lawsuit: SD fairgoers at risk of credit-card fraud

Posted at 9:38 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 00:38:18-05

The San Diego County Fair is an annual thrill for more than 1.6 million people. But, fairgoers may now need to check their credit card statements for fraud.

A class-action lawsuit against the fairgrounds says as many as 100,000 people who went to the fair could be at risk of fraudulent charges. It accuses one of the fair's vendors of printing receipts that include credit card expiration dates - which is illegal. The expiration dates are a key piece of information that thieves use to make fraudulent online purchases. 

"I can't believe they would even do something like that," said Monica Vetter, who uses her credit card at the fair. "You come to the fair expecting to have trust in that."

A spokeswoman for the fairgrounds says no one was harmed. The venue and the sale processor that allegedly printed the receipts deny any wrongdoing, but nonetheless agreed to a preliminary settlement totaling nearly $1 million. 

Not that either will be writing many checks.

The woman who served as the lead plaintiff in the case, Gillian Brown, stands to gain $5,000. The lawyers, of the firm Gaines and Gaines, could be paid up to $150,000. And all other victims - 50 cents off fair tickets for the 2017 fair. That would reduce the price of a single ticket to $18. 

The proposed settlement goes up for approval in May. Attorneys from Gaines and Gaines did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

For more information on the settlement, click here.