Jan 272010
 January 27, 2010  Posted by  Business, Court

From Dow Jones Newswires:

Barnes and Noble Inc. (BKS) confirmed it received a subpoena involving an investigation into alleged online retail fraud, although the company stressed it doesn’t turn over personal or credit-card information to online discount clubs.

“Customers should be reassured that their personal information, including credit- and debit-card information is not and never has been shared with discount clubs,” said President William Lynch.

The company, along with 21 other online merchants, is under investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for allegedly linking consumers with discount promotions that end up charging them illegal fees.

The programs are run by third-party companies that charge unauthorized fees under the guise of discount offers and also receive consumers’ credit-card numbers, Cuomo said. The merchants subpoenaed have deals with three major companies that offer the discount programs: Webloyalty, Affinion/Trilegiant and Vertrue.

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