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Data breach investigation continues at P.F. Chang’s restaurants

Wednesday P.F. Chang’s is investigating claims of a possible data breach involving credit and debit card numbers stolen from it’s restaurants around the country.

A number of newly stolen card numbers appeared on a website used by criminals.

The possible data breach comes just months after 40 million credit and debit cards were stolen at Target stores.

Many banks do recommend using those credit cards over debit cards, especially while traveling.

The reason with debit cards it’s easier for criminals to have access to your entire account balance.

This means criminals could drain it before you even have time to check your statement.

“It can happen anywhere, so you just really need to safeguard your information,” said Mike Harrison with the Better Business Bureau.

As technology continues to make us a cashless society, thieves are getting more savvy.

In 2013 IBM discovered there were 1.5 million monitored cyber attacks by hackers.

So what is the safest way you can buy while using plastic?

“It is advised to use a credit card if at all possible. If a credit card number is stolen you have certain rights that you can fall back on,” said Harrison.

Federal law limits your loss from credit card fraud to just $50 and you have 60 days to report it, with debit cards it’s more complicated.

“If it’s a debit card its your bank. It is your checking account – that money is gone,” said Harrison.

You can report unauthorized charges on a debit card but Harrison told ABC 17 News that investigation is often a lengthy one.

“A very long process to research it and get your money back, but there is never a guarantee you’ll get your money back,” said Harrison.

Other advice Harrison told ABC 17 News is to check your statement at least once a month, and change passwords every 60-90 days even if you have not been hacked.

“It’s not a question of if, but more when its gonna happen,” said Harrison.

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