This morning, P.F. Chang's announced that though its investigation into a security breach that occurred earlier this year was ongoing, it had confirmed that the breach had affected 33 restaurants (out of a total of 211). Located in 20 states across the country, the affected restaurants are in towns both large and small, including Chula Vista and Sherman Oaks, California; Austin, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland. Since June 11, P.F. Chang's has ceased use of its credit card system and temporarily switched to using carbon copies in an effort to keep customer data safe.
The investigation also confirmed that customer payment information was at risk between October 19, 2013 and June 11, 2014 — one day after the Secret Service alerted P.F. Chang's of the breach. During that 10 month period, credit card information was unsecured, making it likely that an intruder entered the system and stole "credit and debit card data" including "the card number and in some cases also the cardholder's name and/or the card's expiration date." P.F. Chang's internal investigation — which made use of third party forensic data experts — determined not only the locations that were at risk, but also the specific dates and time frames for when the credit card processing system was compromised.
Customers who may have dined at any of the 33 listed locations within the 10 month period are encouraged to call their credit providers, check their credit score, and contact the FTC. Details can be found on P.F. Chang's security website. See the official release below.
PRESS RELEASE STATEMENT FROM RICK FEDERICO CEO OF P.F. CHANG'S
Scottsdale, Arizona, August 4, 2014 - On Tuesday, June 10, the United States Secret Service alerted P.F. Chang's to a possible security compromise involving credit and debit card data reportedly stolen from certain P.F. Chang's China Bistro branded restaurants located in the continental United States. An investigation into this incident was immediately initiated. Our team, including third-party forensics experts, has been working continuously to understand the nature and scope of the incident. This investigation is ongoing. The security compromise, however, has been contained, and P.F. Chang's has been processing credit and debit card data securely since June 11, 2014.
We have determined that the security of our card processing systems was compromised, and we have reason to believe that the intruder may have stolen some data from certain credit and debit cards that were used during specified time frames at 33 P.F. Chang's China Bistro branded restaurant locations in the continental United States. The potentially stolen credit and debit card data includes the card number and in some cases also the cardholder's name and/or the card's expiration date. However, we have not determined that any specific cardholder's credit or debit card data was stolen by the intruder.
Please visit pfchangs.com/security for a list of the 33 restaurant locations from which we believe credit and debit card data may have been stolen and, for each location, the time frame during which we believe the possibly compromised cards were used by guests at that location. At that site guests can also learn more about the identity protection services being provided for all potentially affected guests. Given the continuing nature of the investigation, other time frames, locations or findings may be identified; therefore, we encourage you to check the site periodically for future updates.
P.F. Chang's encourages its guests to remain vigilant and seek to protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss by reviewing account statements for any unusual activity, notifying their credit card companies, and monitoring their credit reports. Under U.S. law, individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To obtain a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, (877) 322-8228.
At no charge, P.F. Chang's guests can also have these credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" on their files that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify their identity prior to granting credit in their names. Please note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect the individual's credit, it may also delay the ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies the individual's identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms an individual's fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on that individual's file. Any individual wishing to place a fraud alert, or who has questions regarding their credit report, can contact any one of the following agencies: Equifax, P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069, 800-525-6285, www.equifax.com; Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, 888-397-3742, www.experian.com; or TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022-2000, 800-680-7289, www.transunion.com. Information regarding security freezes may also be obtained from these sources.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. To file a complaint with the FTC, or to obtain additional information on identity theft and the steps that can be taken to avoid identity theft, the FTC can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, or at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ or (877) ID-THEFT (877-438-4338); TTY: (866) 653-4261. State Attorneys General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and instances of known or suspected identity theft should be reported to law enforcement, the Attorney General in the individual's state of residence, and the FTC. Individuals can also learn more about placing a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit files by contacting the FTC or their state's Attorney General. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, 919) 716-6400, www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, (888) 743-0023, www.oag.state.md.us.
We regret any inconvenience this security compromise may have caused our guests. To better assist our guests whose card data may potentially have been affected, P.F. Chang's has established a confidential hotline to answer questions. This hotline is available Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. C.S.T. and can be reached at 1-877-412-7152. Guests can also visit pfchangs.com/security for additional information.