If You Eat at Wendy’s, Your Credit Card Number May Be Compromised

A Wendy’s in Richmond, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Big retailers like Target and Home Depot have had memorable data breaches, but lots of fast food companies have dealt with hacks as well. On Wednesday, Wendy’s said that it is investigating a possible credit card breach, joining the noble ranks of Dairy Queen and Jimmy John’s.

Financial institutions started noticing a pattern of fraudulent activity starting on some credit cards shortly after intended transactions at Wendy’s. “We have received this month from our payment industry contacts reports of unusual activity involving payment cards at some of our restaurant locations,” Wendy’s spokesman Bob Bertini told Krebs on Security. “We’ve hired a cybersecurity firm and launched a comprehensive and active investigation.”

For now Wendy’s is looking at transactions from last year, and the company says it’s too early to comment on how many of its 6,500 restaurants are affected.

Adam Levin, the CEO of security company IDT911, said in an email, “Restaurant chains are prime targets for cybercriminals because they store a treasure trove of data on their Point Of Sale systems.” And though the situation at Wendy’s may not seem like an all-out crisis in itself, he added that in general, “Consumers should be on high alert and check their accounts on a daily basis for any suspicious charges or debits.”

There’s nothing like anxiety to make you really want a Frosty.