Better Business Bureau Offers Tips For Consumers Concerned About PF Chang's Data Breach

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Better Business Bureau has some suggestions for PF Chang’s customers who are concerned that their credit or debit cards may have been compromised by the recent news of a data breach. Thirty-three restaurants have been affected across the United States, with the restaurant in Chattanooga being on that list. Vulnerable dates for this location include October 19, 2013 through June 11, 2014.

PF Chang’s has stated that they have contained the breach, and it is safe for consumers to use their credit and debit cards at restaurants again. But they do urge customers who may have been affected to continue to monitor accounts for any unauthorized charges. The investigation is ongoing at the moment. 

Javelin Strategy & Research in their 2014 Identity Fraud Study noted that the number of identity fraud victims rose to 13.1 million people last year, and every one in three people who received a data breach notification letter ended up becoming an identity fraud victim. If you suspect that you may have had your information compromised, BBB suggests the following advice.

For those who paid with a credit card:

  • Monitor your credit card statements carefully (many financial institutions allow you to see your statements online, so you can monitor them more frequently than just once a month).
  • If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately so the charge can be disputed and a new card issued.
  • Keep receipts in case you need to prove which charges you authorized and which ones you did not.

For those who paid with a debit card:

  • Do all of the above as for credit cards, but pay very careful attention to your account, as debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards and debit transactions withdraw funds directly from your bank account. Contact your bank for more information, or you may want to pre-emptively request a new debit card or put a security block on your account.

For everyone, not just those who may be affected by PF Chang’s security breach:

Beware of scammers who will likely use this highly public event to purport to be from PF Chang’s, your bank or your credit card issuer, telling you that your card was compromised and suggesting actions to “fix” the problem.

  • Check before you click. Phishing emails may attempt to fool you into providing your credit card information or ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which can download malware designed to steal your identity.
  • Don’t click on any email links or attachments unless you are absolutely certain the sender is authentic.
  • PF Chang’s highlights in their “frequently asked questions” section that they will not be sending out notifications to those potentially affected, because they do not have the necessary information in order to contact customers. They do note though that in a few cases they have emailed customers who had shared their emails with the company prior. Either way, it may be a good idea to be wary of any contact you receive from supposedly PF Chang’s regarding the security breach.

For all businesses that collect customer information:

  • Make sure you protect your customers’ data. If a data breach can happen to a major retailer with significant data security measures in place, it can happen to any business.
  • Check out BBB’s updated online guide Data Security – Made Simpler (http://www.bbb.org/data-security/) for free information on how to create a data security plan.

SmartBank Enters Into Definitive Agreement With Atlantic Capital Bank To Acquire FSG Bank Branch

SmartFinancial, Inc., parent company of SmartBank, and Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., announced that SmartBank has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Cleveland, Tn., branch office and assets of FSG Bank, a division of Atlantic Capital Bank. SmartBank has agreed to assume approximately $33,000,000 in customer deposits ... (click for more)

EPB Fiber Optics Named One Of Best Gaming ISPs In Nation

EPB Fiber Optics has been named the winner as the best gaming ISP for quality in the United States by PC Magazine.  Officials said it’s not so much speed, as it is latency such as connection quality and reliability. EPB Fiber Optics was rated against Verizon Fios, Google Fiber, Metrocast and others.  (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Drive-by Shooting On North Germantown Road Friday Afternoon

A person was shot early Friday afternoon on North Germantown Road.  The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 1:45 p.m. to the 700 block of North Germantown Road on a person shot.   The victim was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and  was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS.   The victim was shot from a suspect ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)