With COVID-19 still spreading across the country, customers have been tempted to pay for goods and services using a credit card rather than cash. However, with the advancement of technology and the number of criminals lingering in America, is it even safe to use a credit card anymore?
Numerous amount of data breaches have occurred this year, and restaurants are the biggest victim. In September of 2020, for example, cybercriminals and hackers led an attack on Dickey’s Barbecue Pit-the largest barbecue chain in America. A data breach in the company had exposed 3 million customer’s credit card information. The information was then posted to a forum called Joker’s Stash, and was sold for just $17 a pop. Fortunately, the forum was shut down by cybersecurity firm Gemini Advisory.
Another data breach had occurred in Landry’s Restaurant in January of 2020. Hackers had conducted a Point of Sale (POS) Malware Attack, which had targeted customers’ credit card data. Over 500,000 customers were affected as the attack exposed credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes, and cardholder names. Cybercriminals used this information to create new credit cards illegally, clone their debit cards, and use the customer’s identities when targeted by the police. What’s worse is that this is the second data breach in Landry’s Restaurant since 2015 and these cybercriminals are still at large.
Another data breach had occurred just last week at Chowbus: a food delivery restaurant service. Ever since the country lockdown, Chowbus had spiked in popularity due to its efficient delivery service without having the customer leave their residence. However, this also makes the restaurant a successful target towards hackers and cybercriminals. On October 6 2020, a data breach had exposed more than 800,000 customer’s credit card information and quickly stored it in their secret database. The database was later discovered by the company and had contained names, phone numbers, and email addresses. After a police investigation, it was concluded that the criminals were trying to use this information to make fraudulent purchases using the customer’s personal information. The database was shut down and the criminals, whose names are still anonymous, were arrested for theft and identity fraud.
Data breaches put the customer at risk of identity theft and losing money. This idea is amplified by the fact that credit cards have increased in usage due to the pandemic. So the next time you make a purchase, think twice before using your credit card because you might just at risk of an exposure. Good luck and safe spending!