If you’ve dined at Shoney’s anytime since Dec. 2016, you probably want to take a good hard look at your credit and debit card statements, as reports from financial institutions indicate that some cards used to pay for meals there have recently been used to make fraudulent purchases elsewhere.
Financial industry sources have told security reporter Brian Krebs that credit card associations (think Visa and Mastercard) have notified them about possible breaches at a large number of Shoney’s locations. Banks and card associations are able to make this link when cards with fraudulent transactions have been used at the same place, or at different locations of the same business.
Krebs on Security has been contacting Shoney’s for two weeks, and they have not responded or issued a statement about the alleged breach.
Most banks and credit card issuers have provided customers with newer cards that include embedded smart chips. While these chips make it more difficult to clone a card or steal information at the point of sale, not all retailers and restaurants have updated their cash registers to read the chips. Malware installed on older payment terminals can harvest information — card number, expiration date, etc. — when you swipe the magnetic stripe on your card.