The recent cyber attack (Nov. 20) on Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide credit cards has spurred Hawaii into taking action. The archipelago is home to many properties of the worldwide chain so it’s not that unusual turn that the state of Hawaii is warning customers of Starwood Hotels about a malware infestation of credit cards users at its properties around the world. We reported the story hours ago here but now eturbonews reports that, “The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) is encouraging consumers who may have dined or shopped at any of the 54 locations identified by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. to protect themselves from potential credit card fraud.” Although Starwood made a list of the affected hotels, along with other information, available here, Hawaii wants consumers to know that locations in the islands that were affected included Resort Villas; The Westin Maui Resort & Spa; and The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. “We strongly encourage anyone who has used a credit or debit card to purchase food, drinks, or souvenirs at a Starwood property to check the list of hotels and identified dates of the data breaches,” said DCCA Director Catherine Awakuni Colόn. “According to Starwood, the information compromised could be used to make fraudulent charges on credit and debit cards. Everyone should make it a habit to check your monthly statements and annual credit report.”
If you stayed at any Starwood hotel or resort in the world the DCCA has information on how to protect yourself following a security breach here. This website includes links to sample forms and letters for victims of identity theft to help with the recovery process. DCCA also partnered with the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Health to offer guidance on how to avoid fraud and common scams in the Hawaii’s Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide available here.
In the meantime check with your bank and credit card provider to see any charges posted to your account. Always keep a record of your account numbers, expiration dates, and phone number and address of the card issuer in a secure place. Save receipts to compare with billing statement but be sure to destroy them when no longer needed. Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly. Report questionable charges immediately and preferably in writing to the card company.
If you think your credit or debit card information may have been compromised in the Starwood data breach call toll free: 1-855-270-9179 Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST.