The U.S. Secret Service alerted restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro that customer credit card data may have been stolen from several of the company's locations throughout the country, including one in Palm Beach Gardens.
The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company said it was alerted by the USSS on June 10 to a "possible security compromise" involving credit and debit card data, according to a public statement posted August 4 on the company's website.
The news release issued on the company's website said the breach at the PBG location occurred between February 21 and June 11 this year. It was one of 33 locations hit across 16 states over eight months. Other Florida locations include Clearwater and Winter Park.
The breach was contained the next day, and the company switched to manual processing for debit and credit cards. The company also launched an investigation.
At this point, it's not clear if credit card information was actually stolen or why the restaurant waited nearly two months to alert the public. However, a spokesperson for P.F. Chang's says the company has been working with the Secret Service while communicating with the public since becoming aware of the incident.
"We've been communicating with the public since the incident occurred," Anne Deanovic, a spokesperson for P.F. Chang's, told the New Times over the phone. "We still have to work with the Secret Service in uncovering all of this."
Brian Krebs from krebsonsecurity.com first reported a potential breach at P.F. Chang's in June, although the company could not confirm anything at the time.
According to Deanovic, the company does not know how many people may have been affected.
Credit card information that may have been stolen included card numbers and in some cases also the cardholder's name and/or the card's expiration date.
The restaurant chain is offering complimentary identity protection to anyone who may have been affected. If customers suspect fraudulent activity on their cards, the company recommends that they report the activity to their respective card company or issuing bank. P.F. Chang's says it is safe for customers to use credit and debit cards at its restaurants.
The restaurant says it does not have sufficient contact information for potentially affected customers and will not be contacting them directly. However, anybody who used debit and credit cards before June 11 is automatically protected with AllClear Secure for the next 12 months.
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