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

NEW YORK (AP) - P.F. Chang's confirmed Friday that data from credit and debit cards used at its restaurants was stolen. The national chain will not name which restaurants may have been compromised. 

The company says it 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. It found that credit card and debit cards were exposed, but it doesn't know yet when it started happening.

The company didn't say how many cards were affected.

It is now using manual credit card imprinting devices at all its P.F. Chang's restaurants to process card payments while the investigation continues. That has some credit experts warning consumers to be careful when handing over your plastic.

"It's kind of removing one problem and creating another," said Aaron Reese with the Kansas City Better Business Bureau. 

The manual method creates a carbon paper copy. 

"Having any type of data, whether it be on paper stored or on a computer and stored, it's still in someone else's hands, still a possibility someone can get ahold of it,"  Reese said.

Scottsdale, Arizona-based P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. owns its namesake restaurants and Pei Wei Asian Diners. There are 209 P.F. Chang's restaurants around the country.

The chain has established a dedicated public website, pfchangs.com/security , for guests to receive updates and answers to their questions.

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