Identity thieves’ preferred source of personal info

Give users and execs in your company a heads up to check their bank and credit card statements after they travel for business or pleasure.

The hotel industry is a huge target for hackers looking to steal personal financial information — in fact, 38% of all credit card hacking cases last year involved hotels, according to a recent report by security consulting firm Trustwave.

That makes hotels a significantly bigger cybercrime target than financial service companies (19% of hacking cases), retail stores (14%), and bars and restaurants (13%), the New York Times reports.

Why is leaving a credit with a hotel such a risky proposition? Simply put, hotels deal with a lot of credit cards, and they vary widely in the quality of their security measures. Also, it’s often easier to steal from travelers who may not have a chance to regularly check their accounts.

Best bet for your company and its employees: Keep a close eye on accounts and notify credit card companies immediately about any discrepancies.

  • LM

    Is it safe to use hotel networks?

  • Don’t use your credit card at a gas station in Toronto – when I last visited there from New York State, I used my credit card for ~$40 in gas & got home to a message from Citibank saying there were two additional charges from that same gas station for $100 each & they blocked a third which means they would have kept charging $100 until my limit was reached. Luckily Citibank was on top of this.

    Only use your debit card which requires your PIN# & secures against this kind of theft (unless they can see what you press on the number pad i suppose).

    I look forward to the day when there will be corporal punishment for identity thieves, in fact I’ll volunteer to hit them with whatever is allowed – whip, cane, bowling ball, sign me up!

  • Paul Brown

    Amber, hit them with a bank fee. Those things easily qualitfy as corporal punishment nowadays. With today’s bank fees and credit card fees, who needs an identity thief? The banks and credit card companies can pick your pocket legally (…”rummage through” your pocket may be more a more appropriate term).

  • Another thing about hotels / motels – they require a credit card every time a room is rented. For a busy hotel, this could mean handling thousands of credit cards daily.

    Add to that, employees who do not understand the security risk of downloading free apps like screen savers – that might be filled with malware.

  • BJ

    My identity was stolen earlier this year when I allowed my driver’s license to be copied in order to test drive a new car we purchased. Didn’t think to get the copy back and boom…6 weeks later I began receiving unauthorized credit cards in the mail. Over $15,000 was purchased before it was all said and done. Five months later and I am still filling out forms to get everything cleared. Just can’t be too suspicious of any place that needs a copy of your credit card or any identity.
    By the way, I’m waiting in line to hit identity thieves with the maximum; prison is too good for them!!!

  • Dave K

    Scammers are getting clever. I received a call from 800-955-6600 saying “This is Capital One. Please enter your 16-digit credit card number.” After two more attempts, the recorded voice asked me to enter my SSN. This all sounds very legit, and I suspect there are many people willing to give up their identity this way. Be careful.