As the list of major U.S. retailers hit by credit card hackers continues to grow this year, Americans are more likely to worry about having credit card information they used in stores stolen by computer hackers than any other crime.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has confirmed Friday morning that there has been a data breach involving customers’ credit and debit cards used at its restaurants. After learning of the breach Tuesday, the company began an investigation with the U.S. Secret Service and a team of third-party forensics experts “to understand the nature and scope of the incident, and while the investigation is still ongoing, we have concluded that data has been compromised,” according to a statement from P.F. Chang’s CEO Rick Federico.
The theft of information linked to 80 million South Korean credit cards, including salaries, monthly card usage, credit rating and card numbers, has sparked widespread public concern, as cardholders rush to bank branches and overload call centers and service websites to see if their information as stolen.
Retailer Neiman Marcus said that thieves stole some of its customers' payment card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season.
Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., said in an email that the retailer had been notified in mid-December by its credit card processor about potentially unauthorized payment activity following customer purchases at stores, said AP. On Jan. 1, a forensics firm confirmed evidence that the upscale retailer was a victim of a criminal cyber-security intrusion and that some customers' credit and debit cards were possibly compromised as a result, said AP.
Reeder wouldn't estimate how many customers may be affected but said the merchant is notifying customers whose cards it now knows were used fraudulently. Neiman Marcus, which operates more than 40 upscale stores and clearance stores, is working with the Secret Service on the breach, said AP.
"We have begun to contain the intrusion and have taken significant steps to further enhance information security," Reeder wrote.