Within a few days of each other, Starwood, Hilton and Trump Hotels acknowledged credit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes were stolen from their point-of-sale systems. Hackers apparently were able to breach each of the hotels systems and load malware, giving them access to the credit card information. Canadian credit cards may have been impacted as well.
While Hilton did not indentify how many properties were affected, Starwood (Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels), estimates apporximately 54 hotels across the country were impacted between the months of Nov 7, 2014 and October 23, 2015.
Hilton recommended that its customers check their credit card statements during a 17-week period between Nov. 18 to Dec. 5, 2014, or between April 21 to July 27, 2015, to see if they made a purchase at a Hilton property. “If you notice any irregular activity on your cards, please contact your financial institution directly for additional support,” the company said.
“We cannot address the actual number of cards impacted,” the company said in an FAQ about the incident, adding that hacked information might include “cardholder names, payment card numbers, security codes and expiration dates, but no addresses, personal identification numbers (PINs) or Hilton HHonors account information.”
Last month, customer credit and debit card numbers were suspected of being stolen at seven Trump hotels, including one in Toronto, after its payment systems were hacked for nearly a year.
The Trump Hotel Collection said that hackers gained access to its systems between May 2014 and June 2015 at the front desk of those hotels. Hotel restaurants and gift shops were also hacked.
The breach is thought to have occurred at the Trump International Toronto, as well as the Trump SoHo New York, Trump International New York, Trump National Doral in Miami, Trump International Chicago, Trump International Waikiki in Hawaii and Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas.
The good news is, that even if a hacker got your credit card details, there’s no reason to worry. If your card is used by a hacker, you won’t be on the hook for any of the charges. Your credit card company is liable for all unauthorized purchases and fraudulent charges. All you have to do is ensure you read your credit card statements and report any unauthorized transactions to your credit card issuer, within the specified time (usually 60 days but check your agreement). The bank will pay for the charges, cancel your card, and issue you a new one.
Both Starwood and Hilton are offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for 1 year. By all means, take it. But remember, while it will notify you if new credit products are applied for or issued, it won’t necessarily alert you to an unauthorized charge – you still need to review your statements.