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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Restaurant operator P.F. Chang's confirms credit and debit card data breach

NEW YORK, N.Y. - P.F. Chang's confirmed Friday that data from credit and debit cards used at its restaurants was stolen.

The company learned about the security breach on Tuesday from the U.S. Secret Service and began investigating the breach with the agency and a team of forensics experts.

While it knows that customers were exposed, it doesn't know how many, when it happened, or which restaurants were affected.

The company is working with credit card companies to determine which cards may have been affected.

All P.F. Chang's restaurants are now using manual credit card imprinting devices to process card payments while the investigation continues. There are 209 P.F. Chang's restaurants around the country.

For now, the company is asking customers to monitor their credit and bank accounts and report any fraudulent activity to their card companies. It also launched a website, pfchangs.com/security , to keep people updated on the investigation and answer questions.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, owns its namesake restaurants and Pei Wei Asian Diners. The company was taken private in 2012 by Centerbridge partners LP for about $1.1 billion.

A wave of data breaches at other major U.S. corporations is putting consumes on alert and raising awareness about how vulnerable the system is.

Late last year, thieves stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers from customers shopping at Target Corp. stores. Personal information of about 70 million Target customers was also taken. Other companies, such as Neiman Marcus, Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. and Michaels Stores Inc., have also revealed breaches of their systems.

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