Home > Identity Theft and Scams > Check Your Statements: Chick-fil-A Investigates Potential Credit Card Breach

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A confirmed Dec. 31 it is investigating a potential data breach of its payments system. Security blogger Brian Krebs first reported the potential breach Dec. 30, saying his contacts in the banking industry reported a pattern of fraudulent activity on cards used at Chick-fil-A restaurants.

According to Krebs, affected cards were used at locations mainly in Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. The Georgia-based chain has 1,850 locations in 41 states and Washington, D.C.

If the investigation confirms a data breach, affected Chick-fil-A customers will not be held liable for unauthorized card activity and will receive free identity protection services, the company said in a release posted to its website. That release states Chick-fil-A first learned of a potential issue Dec. 19, kicking off the investigation, and preliminary information suggests only credit card information may have been compromised.

There’s no sense in waiting for the company to confirm a breach: As a regular habit, you should closely review your payment card activity for unauthorized use, and if you detect anything unusual, report it to your card issuer so you can stop the fraud, have the charges reversed and get a replacement card, if necessary. While this is an important step to take if you think you may have been affected by a possible Chick-fil-A breach, any credit and debit card user should make this a common practice. Such breaches are common, and you’re likely to be affected by one at some point, if you haven’t been already.

If your credit card data is compromised in a breach, someone could use it to run up a lot of debt. And even though you won’t be liable for all (or any) of it, the debt could hurt your credit score, affecting your ability to get a loan, job or apartment. In addition to checking your card activity, you should also check your credit score for signs of fraud. You can get two of your credit scores for free every 30 days on Credit.com.

For debit card users, the consequences can be more severe: When someone commits fraud with your debit card, it’s like they’ve swiped cash from your wallet, which you may need to pay bills or purchase life’s essentials. You should eventually get all or most of that money back, but in the meantime, you may be missing a significant sum from your bank account, which could lead to missed bill payments or overdraft charges.

More on Identity Theft:

Image: Photodisc

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team