Surprise Charges for Customers at 4,000 Bars and Restaurants


What happened?

On May 1, security expert Brian Krebs reported that Harbortouch, a popular point-of-sale (POS) provider, suffered a widespread data breach of customer payment card information. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, customers are at an increased risk of fraud and identity theft.

Harbortouch disclosed the breach last week, citing that malware had been discovered on their systems. They claimed this malicious software had been siphoning customer payment card information from only “a small number” of their restaurant and bar customers.

After corresponding with a major U.S. card issuer, Krebs believes this breach is much more pervasive than initially thought. They project at least 4,200 businesses have been compromised.

Harbortouch is the fifth major POS provider to suffer a data breach in the past year.

What should you do?

Customers that may have been affected by the Harbortouch data breach should monitor their bank statements for signs of fraudulent use or identity theft. Contact your financial institution immediately if you believe your information has been compromised.

Small business owners who use Harbortouch should contact them directly for more information and keep their consumers updated with the latest breach-related information. Always choose a trusted POS provider with a clean security record. Need help? Check out What Small Business Owners Need to Know about POS Systems.

For more information on identity crimes and small business protection, please visit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
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