In a news release, Marriott announced Friday morning that the hack might involve guest information that dates back to 2014 and likely anyone who stayed at a Starwood property in the last four years. Of the 500 million guest records, nearly 327 million of the guest's information that could be at risk are names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, gender, and Starwood Guest Reservation Account information.
We spoke with Tyler Russell with the Spokane Better Business Bureau about what you can do to make sure your protected "Try to stay calm. I know it's really easy to say but staying calm is very important and also check with the company's website, check with their department. Most of these companies have fraud departments," said Russell.
Starwood Hotel brands include: 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. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.
Marriott International has dedicated a website and call center for people to answer questions you may have. The hotel chain will also be sending out emails to those potentially impacted by this breach starting Friday. They are also offering free WebWatcher enrollment for one year. WebWatcher monitors the internet to see if your personal information was shared.
Personal information exposed in data breaches can find its way to the black market where it can be purchased and used for a variety of attacks including identity theft and or email phishing scams. Tyler also reminds people to monitor all of your accounts "If your credit card has been compromised you're likely to hear from your card or bank issuer first and if you have an questions call the customer service number on the back of your card."
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson issuing this statement:
“I have serious concerns about this major data breach’s potential impacts to Washingtonians. Those who think they may have been impacted should check my office’s website for information on how to protect themselves, including setting up a free credit freeze with the three credit reporting agencies. Data breaches are an area of focus for my office. We recently released a report showing 3.4 million Washingtonians affected by data breaches in 2018, a 700 percent increase since 2016. I will continue looking out for Washington consumers and advocating for improvements to laws that help them protect themselves.”
The FBI is also investigating this breach. If you would like to enroll in WebWatcher and learn more about the breach, customers can go to info.starwoodhotels.com