Possible data breach at P.F. Chang’s

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Data breaches are no longer just a problem for retailers. 22News found out how it could now have expanded to the restaurant-chain, P.F. Chang’s. The company isn’t openly saying there was a breach, but that they’re looking into the possibility that thousands of debit cards may have been compromised.

“It’s like putting the toothpaste back into the toothpaste holder. I’m not sure it can be done,” said Ryan McCullah of South Hadley, in regards to staying safe in the age of technology.

To avoid getting your debit card information compromised, it’s no longer a practical solution to stop using debit or credit altogether.

“Unfortunately, they’re convenient so I’d probably still use it, it’s worth it maybe a little bit, get some adventure from it, even though it’s a bad thing…I wouldn’t like it if someone else was trying to be me,” said Stefen Welch of Agawam.

Around Christmas, more than 40 million Target customers were hacked. Then it was Michael’s, Neiman Marcus, and Sally’s Beauty Salon. Now, it’s moved to restaurant chains, like P.F. Chang’s.

“If there’s the technology, they talk about the digital technology that can avoid having these problems,” said Ron Mease of Wilbraham, “I don’t understand why we wouldn’t be doing that pretty much on a wholesale basis.”

Since the nationwide breaches at places like Target and Michael’s, many people told 22News they’re relying more on paying with cash than they are with plastic.

“Taking a chunk out of our check and having it in cash and anything that we’re needing to do, so we’ve done that more. In fact, the Target thing affected us where we had to change out debit cards out and that really kind of caused us to go back to our cash system,” McCullah added.

Without knowing a clear cause or the impact of these breaches, most people said they’re willing to risk using their debit cards for convenience sake. P.F. Chang’s has more than 210 restaurants in the U.S. The closest ones to us are most likely the ones in Farmington, Connecticut, Boston or Providence.

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