Wendy’s Investigating a Possible Credit Card Breach


Nationwide fast-food restaurant chain Wendy’s is investigating claims of a potential credit card breach at some branch locations.

Security researcher Brian Krebs reached out to Wendy’s with questions about a possible breach after his sources from the banking industry discovered a pattern of fraud on several cards. These cards were flagged specifically because they were all recently used in different Wendy’s locations.

A spokesperson for the Ohio-based restaurant stated that the company initially began receiving reports from its payment industry contacts about a possible breach. The restaurant chain hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate these claims.

Speaking to KrebsOnSecurity, the spokesperson stated: “We have received this month from our payment industry contacts reports of unusual activity involving payment cards at some of our restaurant locations.”

He added:

Reports indicate that fraudulent charges may have occurred elsewhere after the cards were legitimately used at some of our restaurants. We’ve hired a cybersecurity firm and launched a comprehensive and active investigation that’s underway to try to determine the facts.

The spokesperson claimed that it was still too soon to say if the incident is contained or how long it may have persisted. Similarly, the number of affected stores are also unknown.

He further added that the investigation began immediately upon being notified about a possible breach. The period in focus is late last year, when the breach may have started affecting some restaurants, although he did not reveal the number of restaurants that are possibly affected.

Citing banking sources, KrebsOnSecurity revealed that reports of a possible breach due to suspicious activity from several cards were mainly flagged by financial institutions based in the Midwest. While this has been the case with a majority of complaints, the blog has also received reports of the same kind from several banks in the east coast of the United States as well.

As a restaurant, Wendy’s includes some 6,500 franchise owned and company operated restaurants in the United States as well as 28 other countries and US territories around the world. The spokesperson also stated that most of the US-operated stores are franchises.

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