COURTESY NOTIFICATION -
500 Million Have Personal Information Compromised in Starwood Hotels Data Breach
Here is what you need to know
Marriott recently announced that approximately 500 million Starwood Hotel guests may have had personal information compromised, including credit/debit card number, passport number, birth date, email, address, and more.
What information was compromised?
Information includes some combination of: Name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128). There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken. For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.
Why is United Teletech telling us this?
This was a breach of Marriott's Starwood Hotels database. Your information with United Teletech is secure and safe. Due to the scope of the breach, we think this may affect many of our members. We are informing you of this breach because we want to make everyone aware and make sure they have the tools necessary to keep their accounts and identities safe from criminals.
How do I know if I was impacted ?
Anyone who made a reservation at a Starwood Hotel on or before September 10, 2018 or has a SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) account may have had information compromised.
How do I know if I stayed at a Starwood Hotel?
The following hotel chains are Starwood hotels: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels that participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program.
What steps should I take?
United Teletech Financial takes identity theft and fraud extremely seriously. We offer a number of products and services that help keep your identity safe and prevent and fight fraud.
1) Member Alerts - If you have a United Teletech Debit or Credit Card you can set customized alerts to be quickly notified of any unauthorized charges or suspicious activity on your account
2) Mastercard ID Theft Protection - This service is free to everyone who has a United Teletech Mastercard(either credit or debit). It will scour the Internet to see if your personal information is not being bought, sold or compromised. If they discover it is, they'll send you an alert ASAP. To register click here.
3) Register for a Free Year of WebWatcher - If you think you are a victim of this breach, Starwood Hotels will give you one year free of WebWatcher, a service that monitors internet sites where personal information is shared and sends alerts if your information is found online. Visit info.starwoodhotels.com for more information, eligibility, and to register.
4) - Regularly Check Statements - Take time every month to review your statements to make sure each and every transaction is accurate. If you recognize a charge that wasn't initiated by you contact your financial institution right away.
5) Change Passwords Regularly - The more often you change your passwords the more secure your information. Online banking , credit card accounts, email addresses, etc. should all be changed regularly. If a password for one site is compromised and you use the same password for every account it is easy for cyber criminals to access your different accounts.
How do I get more information?
Marriott has launched a dedicated website and call center to answer any questions you may have about the breach. If you think you were a victim and would like to speak to them directly, please visit info.starwoodhotels.com
Information contained in this article is for educational purposes only. Please speak to a certified financial counselor before making any decisions.