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NEW YORK – Attorneys General from New York and 27 other states have joined together to force Bank One, the nation’s largest VISA issuer, to change its credit card marketing tactics and to pay a $1.3 million fine, according to the New York Attorney General’s office. Joining New York in the action were Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. The settlement follows a similar agreement with Citibank, the nation’s largest overall credit card issuer, earlier in 2002. In settling the case, 28 states and Puerto Rico concluded a three-year investigation of Bank One’s practice of providing information regarding its credit card holders to third-party vendors that would then solicit those customers to buy the vendors’ products, the Attorney General’s office said. Many vendors used free-trial offers and gifts such as airline tickets to induce credit card holders to accept solicitations for the purchase of products and services that included insurance products, special interest membership clubs, discount shopping programs, and prepaid plans for such services as optical supplies or roadside assistance.

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