Posted at: 04/13/2012 5:24 PM
| Updated at: 04/13/2012 6:19 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
COLONIE–Guests who stayed at The Desmond from May to March are being asked to double check their statements and contact their credit card companies if they notice a problem. The stolen financial information was sold and used to make retail purchases. So far it’s only been credit cards, not debit cards and their associated pin numbers.
“It’s truly an invasion of your business. You have a foreign hacker who comes in and it’s obviously a very sophisticated situation. This was not a local breach or internal, this was something through an international hacker,” explains Desmond General Manager John D’Adamo.
Unless you pay for everything with cash or checks, it’s nearly impossible to completely prevent this type of theft. But, if you catch a problem early it’s easier to rectify.
Experts like Senior Investigator Tom Hurbanek with the New York State Police suggests monitoring your account activity at least once a week, “You have to watch what’s being charged. If you see a charge you didn’t make you have to contact your bank or credit card company right away.”
There is also something called Identity Theft Insurance. It doesn’t cover your direct monetary loss but it will reimburse you for costs accrued to fix the problem–like legal fees. Adding Identity Theft Insurance to an existing policy will run between $30 and $60 a year.
“Nobody wants to face a loss or a claim but it’s part of growing up you have to be prepared,” advises Peter Mason, an insurance agent in Menands.
At this point it’s unknown exactly how many people were affected by the hacking at The Desmond. The hotel is working with the Secret Service and Attorney General’s office and has also hired an outside forensic investigation team to determine how the breach occurred and what can be done in the future.
“Your first concern goes out to the consumer, because obviously, you want to recognize your guests. And then you want to make sure this never occurs again,” adds D’Adamo.
Hurbanek suggests two more tips:
1) Use credit cards rather than debit cards
2) Order a free credit report from the Federal Trade Commission to ensure you haven’t unknowingly been victimized
Article source: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s2581058.shtml?cat=10114
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