Appetizers
March 28, 2007
Hacker Buffet

Earlier this month, I posted an item here about steps that restaurants are taking to protect diners from credit-card fraud. And none too soon, to judge by what ABC News is reporting today, namely that identity theft is more likely to occur at a restaurant than at any other kind of business.

According to the report, 40 percent of all credit-card theft happens when the card holder dines out. That conclusion is based on tracking by Visa, which blames hackers and inept storage of credit-card data by restaurants for the high incidence of theft. While theft of personal information on a credit card by servers who disappear with the card isn't unprecedented, it apparently isn't near as prevalent as theft by hackers far from the premises. Visa's research indicates that large restaurant chains are especially susceptible to break-ins.

What can consumers do to better safeguard their credit-card information? Pay with cash, or keep a close eye on credit-card statements and report anything suspicious, suggests the report.

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