Wawa Paying $9 Million in Cash, Gift Cards in Data Breach Settlement


The Wawa convenience store chain is paying out up to $9 million in cash and gift cards to customers who were affected by a previous data breach, as reimbursements for their loss and inconvenience. 

The affected customers can request gift cards or cash that Wawa is paying out to settle a lawsuit over the security incident. Here's everything you need to learn about the proposed class action settlement – who's eligible, how to submit a claim for cash or a gift card, and how to object to the deal. 

Customers who used their payments cards at any Wawa store or gas pump during the data breach, but were not impacted by the fraud, qualifies to receive a $5 gift card, as compensation. These claimants are referred to as 'Tier One Claimants'. 

However, the claimants will be required to submit proof of the purchase they conducted at a Wawa store or fuel pump between March 04, 2019, and December 12, 2019 – when the data breach occurred – in order to claim the gift card. Customers would essentially be required to provide proof of the transaction date, preferably a store receipt of a statement by the bank, or a screenshot from the concerned bank or credit card company website or app. 

The next category of claimants, referred to as 'Tier Two Claimants' could receive a gift card worth $15 if they show reasonable proof of an actual or attempted fraudulent charge on their debit or credit card post-transaction. 

The last category of claimants, referred to as 'Tier Three Claimants' qualify to receive a cash reimbursement of upto $500, if they provide reasonably documented proof of money they spent in connection with the actual or attempted fraudulent transaction on their payment card. It must be reasonably attributed to the data breach incident. 

During the 9 month span of the data breach, around 22 million class members made a financial transaction at one of the Wawa stores. Customers have been given a deadline of November 29, 2021, to submit a claim for recompensation. By doing so, they are giving up their right to sue Wawa over the 2019 security incident. 

Those who wish to retain their right to sue the company over the security incident and do not wish to receive the payment will be required to exclude themselves from the class. The deadline given for the same is November 12, 2021. 
 

What is this settlement for?


In 2019, the Wawa convenience store chain experienced a data breach wherein cybercriminals hacked their point-of-sale systems to install malware and steal customers' card info. As the fraud impacted Wawa's 850 locations along the East Coast, the U.S based convenience store company found itself buried in a series of lawsuits. One of which – filed by the law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith, of Haverford – claimed that the data breach “was the inevitable result of Wawa's inadequate data security measures and cavalier approach to data security.”

The massive data breach that lasted for nine months,
affected in-store payments and payments at fuel pumps, including “credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names on payment cards.” Meanwhile, hackers also attempted to sell the stolen financial data on the dark web. 

As a result, a police investigation was called in for and the organization also conducted an internal investigation by appointing a forensics firm for the same.