Important information about unauthorized access to credit card data

Important information about unauthorized access to credit card data

December 27, 2013

To our valued customers:

As you may be aware, in mid-November a number of residents and visitors to the Boston area learned that they were the victim of credit card data theft. As soon as the Briar Group became aware that our restaurants – and therefore our customers – may have been a target of this crime, we undertook an immediate investigation into this issue. Today we are reporting that the Briar Group’s systems were indeed infiltrated. The investigation remains active and ongoing, but there are some things that we can tell you now.

Some important information for you to be aware of:

• Based on the initial results of our investigation, we believe the unauthorized access to card data at our restaurants may have occurred from sometime in October 2013 to early November 2013. We are still working to determine the exact dates and will update this website when we learn more.

• Even if you visited one of Briar Group’s restaurants during this period (full list of our locations here), your credit card data may not have been stolen or used.

• However, we urge all of our customers during this period to monitor your credit card statements carefully for fraudulent charges. You should not be responsible for any unauthorized charges on your card; you can contact your card issuer for more information.

We want to assure you that the Briar Group takes the security of the personal information and bank data of all of our customers seriously. For the past several years, we have been working with data service and security professionals McGladrey to assure that we meet or exceed industry standards in terms of data security. All of our systems are PCI compliant and updated regularly.

From the moment it became clear that there may have been a data breach, we worked with our experts to lock down our system while we conducted the investigation to determine if our system was hacked. We have been working closely with law enforcement officials and are providing them with all available information to support their effort to identify the criminals who undertook this act.

We want to extend our sincere apologies to our customers for any inconvenience they may have experienced as a result of this issue. The Briar Group also recognizes that our restaurants are in high profile locations visited by a number of out of town guests and visitors to Boston. We hope that this situation did not mar your impression of our wonderful city and can assure you that we are committed in our efforts to protect all credit card data. Based on our efforts to date, we are confident that the system is secure and that it is safe to use credit cards at our restaurants.

Please see below for information on the various services where you can monitor your credit report.

We thank you for your support and patience as we continue to investigate this issue.

Sincerely,

The Briar Group

You may order a copy of your credit report from the agencies listed below. You are entitled to receive a free credit report annually from each of these three credit agencies.

You may also place a fraud alert on your credit report. This can help prevent someone from opening additional accounts in your name or changing your existing accounts. You can call any one of the three major credit reporting agencies listed below. As soon as one agency confirms your fraud alert, the others will be notified automatically of the alert.

To contact these agencies:

Equifax

P.O. Box 740241 | Atlanta, GA 30374 | 800-525-6285 | www.equifax.com

 

Experian

P.O. Box 9532 | Allen, TX 75013 | 888-397-3742 | www.experian.com

 

TransUnionCorp Fraud Assistance Division

P.O. Box 6790 | Fullerton, CA 92834 | 800-680-7289 | www.transunion.com

Some state laws, including those in Massachusetts, allow you to place a security freeze on your credit reports. This would prohibit a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from your credit report without your written permission. You should be aware, however, that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit, mortgages, employment, housing or other services.

If you believe that you have been a victim of identity theft and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze on your credit reports. In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $5.00 each time you place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.

To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a written request to each of the three credit reporting agencies noted above, which must include the following information: (1) Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.); (2) Social Security Number; (3) Date of birth; (4) Addresses for the prior five years; (5) Proof of current address; (6) A legible copy of a government issued identification card; (7) A copy of any relevant police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft and (8) If you are not a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover only). Do not send cash through the mail.

The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to place a security freeze on your credit report. They must also send written confirmation to you within five (5) business days and provide you with a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password, or both that can be used by you to permit the removal or lifting of the security freeze.

To lift a security freeze to allow a specific entity or individual access to your credit report, you must call or send a written request to the credit reporting agencies by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and social security number) and the PIN number or password originally provided to you when you placed the security freeze. You also will need to provide the identities of those entities or individuals you would like to receive your credit report or the specific period of time you want the credit report to be available. The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to lift the security freeze for those identified entities or for the period of time you have specified.

To remove a security freeze, you must send a written request to each of the three credit bureaus by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze. The credit bureaus have three (3) business days after receiving your request to remove the security freeze.

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Available in various denominations and valid at any Briar Group restaurant or bar.