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Eat a Chipotle Burrito Recently? You Need to Check Your Bank Account ASAP
Editor’s note: Chipotle Mexican Grill is now providing more information about this security breach. For specifics on locations affected and how to file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission, read the fast-food chain’s blog post here.
Chipotle just can’t catch a break.
Since the Mexican fast-food chain’s E. coli outbreak in 2015, the company has struggled to win positive headlines.
After Chipotle recently raised its prices by 5% at about one-fifth of its restaurants nationwide, some people were once again unhappy with the company.
You could say a dreary cloud has loomed over Chipotle for a while now, and this week’s debacle doesn’t help: On April 25, Chipotle announced that hackers breached its payment system.
Hackers Breached Chipotle’s Payment System — How Are You Affected?
The Mexican fast-food chain’s quarterly earnings call started off stellar. The company announced same-store sales increased by 17.8%. It had experienced five quarters of same-store sales declines, so the news was promising.
So promising, in fact, that Chipotle Mexican Grill stock increased by as much as 6.8% after the report.
However, the call also included the announcement of the payment system hack.
Jack Hartung, Chipotle’s chief financial officer, stated that the company “detected unauthorized activity” on the network responsible for in-store processing of credit and debit card payments, according to CNBC.
Affected transactions occurred between March 24-April 18, 2017.
Why is this bad? A payment system breach puts sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, into the hands of criminals, allowing them to steal customers’ money.
Carissa Economos, a senior at The University of Tampa, told me about her concerns on Facebook.
“I've been there 3 times in the past week alone and now I'm kind of freaking out,” said Economos. “I've been checking my account and everything seems normal, but it's crazy how such a large business can get hacked. It just goes to show that no matter how secure a network is, there's always going to be a way in.”
Hartung said the company began an investigation immediately when it learned of the attack. A statement from Chipotle said the chain has taken steps it believes will halt unauthorized activity.
If you’ve been to Chipotle recently, it would be wise to check your bank statements. Make sure to report any unauthorized activity to your bank immediately.
Hopefully Chipotle’s grief ends soon — I hear it might start offering dessert, but I’m not trying to get my credit card hacked while enjoying it.
Your Turn: Are you worried about the Chipotle breach?
Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.