Chili's Data Breach Leaves Consumers' Credit and Debit Card Information Compromised
A data breach at some Chili’s restaurants may have resulted in many consumers’ debit and credit card information being stolen. According to a USA Today news report, the restaurant chain’s parent company, Brinker International, announced that “a data incident” at some of the restaurants might have resulted in the breach. The list of restaurants that have been impacted has not been released. But officials said the incident occurred between March and April.
Thieves Used Malware
The company said it learned about the breach just last week and is now working with third-party forensic experts to determine the details of what occurred and how many customers are affected. Preliminary investigation shows that malware was used to gather payment card information including credit and debit card numbers, and names of cardholders who made in-restaurant purchases.
Brinker International also said they have notified law enforcement about the incident, and that they are working to provide fraud resolution and credit monitoring services for anyone who may have been affected by the data breach.
What Steps Can You Take?
There are a number of steps you can take if your personal information has been stolen or compromised. First and foremost, determine what kind of information was stolen. Credit and debit card numbers, dates of birth and e-mail addresses are more sensitive information that could be used to steal your identity. Next, change all affected passwords. If an online account has been compromised, change the password on that account immediately. If you’ve used the same password for other accounts, change those as well and make up a new, strong password for each and every account.
Contact the relevant financial institutions such as a bank or credit card company immediately. Speak to a live human representative. The bank or credit card company should cancel the card and issue a new one right away. Contact the major consumer credit-reporting bureaus and ask each to place a fraud alert on your name. If you place a credit freeze, no one will be allowed to open an account in your name without your explicit authorization.
It would also be a good idea for you to sign up for a credit monitoring service. Keep a close watch on all your account statements to watch out for any unauthorized charges. If you have been victimized by a data breach, an experienced class action attorney may be able to provide you with more information regarding your legal rights.