White Lodging, an independent hotel management company, has alerted the public that several of the properties have been hit in a hacking scheme.
Bank cards used at point of sales systems at "food and beverage outlets, such as restaurants and lounges" between March 20 and Dec. 16, 2013 could be at risk if they were used at the following properties:
• Marriott Midway, Chicago, Ill.
• Holiday Inn Midway, Chicago, Ill.
• Holiday Inn Austin Northwest, Austin, Texas
• Sheraton Erie Bayfront, Erie, Pa.
• Westin Austin at the Domain, Austin, Texas
• Marriott Boulder, Boulder, Colo.
• Marriott Denver South, Denver, Colo.
• Marriott Austin South, Austin, Texas
• Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, Indianapolis, Ind.
• Marriott Richmond Downtown, Richmond, Va.
• Marriott Louisville Downtown, Louisville, Ky.
• Renaissance Plantation, Plantation, Fla.
• Renaissance Broomfield Flatiron, Broomfield, Colo.
• Radisson Star Plaza, Merrillville, Ind.
White Loding also believes that the "property management system" that manages hotel guests' credit card information was also affected at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, Ind.
Agencies who deal with this every day say Target's data breach was unfortunately just the beginning. It took a breach of this size to get people reacting, but we're a long a way from stopping this financial nightmare.
"This is going to continue to happen until we go to better technology," said Congressman Spencer Bachus.
Bachus is on the Financial Services Judiciary Committee and has been fighting the cyber war in Congress for more than a decade. He says finally people are seeing how serious the problem really is.
"It's hard to convince people to change what they've been doing, to do something that costs more, simply because you aren't afraid of something until it happens. Now it happened," said Bachus.
Experts say we're still years away from any type of change, leaving consumers with little they can do to protect themselves other than to be vigilant.
"Be sure you monitor all of you bank and credit card statements on a regular basis," said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau.
Smitherman says they have received a rash of reports here in Birmingham from possible victims of identity theft. He explains you can do to better protect yourself.
"Change your logins and passwords frequently, especially if you recently been on a public computer, for instance computers at lobbies of hotels where you can go online and print out your boarding pass," he said.
Smitherman also advises against using unsecure networks like those at coffee shops. And the BBB is recommending people to start using their credit cards over their debit cards.
"There are certain protections that come to consumers when using a credit card and those same protections don't come when using a debit card," said Smitherman.
Additional information about the hotel breach will be released at www.whitelodging.com.
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