In June of 2014 I first reported to you about a data breach at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro a major restaurant chain. A large number of credit cards and debit cards used at P.F.Chang’s restaurants between March 2014 and May 19, 2014 were compromised. A class action was filed by John Lewert and Lucas Kosner in 2014 on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated victims of the data breach. P.F.Chang was initially successful in having the lawsuit dismissed on the ground that Lewert and Kosner had not personally suffered any harm at this time due to the data breach. However, recently, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals revived the lawsuit, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and allowing the case to proceed because, the court determined, the plaintiffs and others whose data was stolen faced the “concrete” possibility of becoming a future victim of identity theft.
If you were a customer of P.F. Chang’s affected by the data breach, here is a link to the website of the law firms handling the class action to which you can go for more information. http://www.siprut.com/ and http://www.litedepalma.com/
So what does this mean to you? As I have cautioned you many times, you should not use your debit card for anything other than an ATM card. Using it for retail purchases potentially puts your entire bank account tied to the card in jeopardy. By using a credit card, your liability is limited to no more than $50 for fraudulent charges and many companies do not even charge you anything for fraudulent charges. Everyone should monitor their credit card statements carefully each month to make sure that no fraudulent charges appear and if they do, you should contact your credit card company to have those charges removed immediately and to get a new credit card.