Representatives with the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles today are urging their customers to make sure they have not been a victim of identity theft.
A computer hacker breached data security at the hotel's four restaurants — Lake View Bistro, Lobby Court Bar, Bonavista Lounge and L.A. Prime — and possibly its valet parking between April and December of last year, according to the hotel.
The breach did not affect the computer system that stores credit card information of hotel guests.
After learning about the possible data security breach, hotel officials contacted law enforcement and the credit card companies. The hotel was continuing to monitor and evaluate its computer systems to ensure that customer information is protected.
The unlawfully accessed data may have included names printed on customers' credit or debit cards, credit or debit card numbers and card expiration dates.
Guests who used or visited the affected businesses during the eight-month period and who used a credit or debit card to pay their bills directly to the restaurants and valet parking might have had such information compromised and were encouraged to review their statements from that time period.
Guests who suspect unauthorized activity should report it to the bank that issued the credit card, as well as law enforcement authorities.
Guests should also consider placing a fraud alert on their credit files. An initial fraud alert, which lasts for 90 days, requires potential creditors to use reasonable policies and procedures to verify a customer's identity before issuing credit in his/her name.
To place an alert, calls can be made to any of the following three credit reporting agencies: Experian (888) 397-3742; Equifax (800) 525-6285; or TransUnion (800) 680-7289.