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P.F. Chang’s suspects data theft

NEW YORK — P.F. Chang’s China Bistro said Tuesday that it is investigating a potential security breach that may have led to the theft of information from thousands of customer credit cards.

The possible theft was first reported by Brian Krebs, a security blogger, who noted thousands of fresh credit cards appeared on Rescator, a so-called carding site that was used to sell payment data after last year’s Target network breach. Data from the magnetic strips of the latest stolen cards is selling for between $18 and $140 per card.

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Krebs said representatives from affected banks had purchased several stolen credit cards from carding sites and discovered that many were used recently at P.F. Chang’s.

“P.F. Chang’s takes these matters very seriously and is currently investigating the situation, working with the authorities to learn more,” said Anne Deanovic, a spokeswoman for the company. “We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information.”

Deanovic said the company had not yet tied fraudulent activity on customers’ credit cards to the possible breach. The Secret Service, which has been conducting an inquiry into recent hacks at retailers, did not return a request for comment.

If the breach is confirmed, P.F. Chang’s will be the fifth major retail chain — after Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, and Sally’s Beauty — to acknowledge that its systems were recently compromised .

The tally of customers affected by these recent breaches now exceeds one-third of the US population.

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