Landry's Inc., the giant restaurant company that owns more than 500 eateries under 40 brands — such as Morton's the Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick's, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Rainforest Cafe — has finished an internal investigation of widespread credit card fraud.
In December 2015, Landry's issued a news release acknowledging there was a problem with credit card fraud at many of its restaurants. It seems that many customers, after dining at one of the company's establishments, found unauthorized charges on their accounts. The company hired a cybersecurity company to investigate the matter and also made changes in its systems, utilizing an enhanced payment system that encrypts the card data. At the time, the company noted, "Even though we will not know the full scope of this incident until the investigation is completed, we will work vigilantly to address any potential issues that may affect our customers. "
Landry's has completed its investigation, and the results show a staggering number of its restaurants were prey to the scheme. According to Landry's, criminal attackers installed a program on payment processing devices at many of its restaurants, food and beverage outlets, spas, entertainment destinations, and managed properties. That program searched for data encoded in the magnetic strip of cards swiped at various Landry's outlets and collected information about cardholders: names, card numbers, expiration dates, and internal verification codes.
In addition to owning and operating restaurants, Landry's also has Golden Nugget casinos and other hotels and entertainment complexes.
The fraud goes as far back as May 4, 2014, and continued through December 3, 2015, and Landry's has posted a complete listing of all restaurants, hotels, and attractions involved and the times the fraud occurred. In total, nearly 50 Landry's-owned brands were involved, including the Yak & Yeti restaurant, located at Disney World's Animal Kingdom park.
Many South Florida restaurants were affected and are listed below (along with the dates fraud may have occurred):
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Jupiter (6/28/2014)*
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Bayside Marketplace (5/8/2015 to 12/3/2015)
- Charlie's Crab Palm Beach (5/8/2014 to 3/14/2015; 5/8/2015 to 11/23/2015)
- Chart House in Miami (10/11/2015)*
- Morton's the Steakhouse Ft. Lauderdale (5/9/2014 to 3/14/2015)
- Morton's the Steakhouse Brickell (5/9/2014 to 3/14/2015; 5/8/2015 to 12/3/2015)
- Morton's the Steakhouse Coral Gables (5/9/2014 to 3/14/2015; 5/5/2015 to 12/3/2015)
- Morton's the Steakhouse Sunny Isles (5/10/2014 to 3/14/2015; 5/8/2015 to 12/3/2015)
- Morton's the Steakhouse Palm Beach (5/10/2014 to 3/14/2015; 5/8/2015 to 12/3/2015)
- Oceanaire Seafood Room in Miami (5/10/2014 to 3/14/2015)
A complete list of all Landry's restaurants affected by the fraud across the United States can be found at landrysinc.com/protectingourcustomers.
Regardless of the above-mentioned dates, if you've used your credit card at a Landry's-owned property, the company asks that you monitor your statements for any unauthorized activity and report anything odd to your card issuer. In addition, the company set up an information line. If you have any questions, call 877-238-2151 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Landry's did not immediately respond to New Times' request for comment about how many people were affected in South Florida. We will update this story if we hear back.