While credit card information is being stolen in multiple places, restaurants and other public places are the most visible businesses affected.
There are several points of entry for credit/debit card numbers in a restaurant that can make them vulnerable places for theft.
The information is taken by waiters, before being entered into a computer on premises, which is run by a bigger, off-premises company. It then is sent to the credit card company which has its own computers in a far-off location.
To help combat any possible sources of theft, restaurants go through various forms of protection.
Mystic Grill Restaurant part-owner Ronnie Johnston described some steps his restaurant took after theft cases were reported.
“We immediately investigated to discern whether it had any basis in fact. We quickly found out that credit card theft has been recently occurring in large numbers all over Georgia generally and Covington specifically,” Johnston said in a written statement.
“To respond, we invited the GBI to come and check our system. After doing a thorough check, they reported that we did not have any issues. But, we did not stop there.
“We also had Ambit Technology (a locally owned sales system company operating in over 100 restaurants) come and ensure that everything was secure. They also reported that we had no leak.
“In addition, the daily scans we receive from our credit card company (Mercury) also showed that nothing in our system had been tampered with.
“Finally, we invited the local police to investigate us. They also did not find any internal breach.
“This prevalence of credit card theft saddens us at the Mystic Grill. We do not take this accusation lightly and have done everything possible to ensure that our system has not had any leaks nor will have any in the future. We will continue to make sure that our restaurant is one where your business is valued and your dining experience is a secure one.”