American consumers are once again wondering and worrying of their personal information could be at risk. The restaurant chain P.F. Chang's is currently investigating a potential security breach.
An online security blogger was the first to report the possible breach. Brian Krebs says thousands of fresh credit cards have appeared on the same site where information was sold after the attack on Target last year.
"You know it's kind of frightening actually," said Bradly Luft of Clinton Township when Ruth to the Rescue told him about the new investigation.
We've been down this road before with a handful of high-profile retailers. In addition to Target, there have been breaches at the craft store Michael's and department store Neiman Marcus. The CEO of Detroit's Better Business Bureau in Southfield says the security drill doesn't change for you.
"Your antenna is way up. You need to make sure that you're watching your credit card statements, that you're looking at your bank statement," Melanie Duquesnel, CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Southfield told Ruth to the Rescue.
The blogger is reporting the stolen credit cards were used at P.F. Chang's locations between the beginning of March, 2014 to May 19, 2014. He's reporting the information is being sold for between $18 and $140 per card.
"The more and more that we learn about how the data is going from one identity thief to another the more we get nervous," said Melanie Duquesnel,CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Southfield.
At this time, the breach is not confirmed, and it's not clear how many of the chain's 209 locations may have been affected.
The restaurant chain released this statement to Ruth to the Rescue, "P.F. Chang's takes these matters very seriously and is currently investigating the situation, working with the authorities to learn more. We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information."
Whether you've been to P.F. Chang's or not, you should always be followed security precautions that will keep your accounts safe. Ruth to the Rescue found consumer are learning that lesson and making it part of their lives.
"You can't stop everything but you do have to be vigilant with your own identification and your own property to make sure that you're doing the best you can to protect yourself." said Colette Jenkins of Detroit.
"Well I always check my bank statements and my credit card statements. I have the access to my phone so I use the app things like that so I'm always keeping up on it," said Bradly Luft of Clinton Township.
Safety Precautions You Can Take
Working with the Better Business Bureau in Detroit, Ruth to the Rescue has come up with this list of options you should consider to protect your accounts.
1) ALWAYS check your monthly account statements and react to any suspicious charges immediately.
2) You can also be even more vigilant, by checking your account online once a week, or however often makes you feel comfortable.
3) Avoid using your debit card as a charge card. If that information is hacked, it puts your money at risk, instead of the credit card company's money.
4) Designate different credit cards for different types of charges. You can create a so-called "dirty card" that is more easily canceled if it gets hacked.
5) If you believe your card information may have been compromised, you can ask your credit card company for a new card or put a fraud alert on the account.
6) Be sure to check your credit report at least once a year. You want to make sure no one is setting up fraudulent accounts in your name.