IHG values the relationship it has with its guests and understands the importance of protecting payment card data. On Dec. 28, 2016, IHG reported it was conducting an investigation after receiving a report of unauthorized charges occurring on some payment cards that were used at a small number of U.S. hotel properties.
IHG hired leading cyber security firms to examine the payment card processing systems for the hotels that it manages in the Americas region. Based on the investigation, IHG is providing notification to guests who used their payment card at restaurants and bars of 12 company managed properties during the time periods from August 2016 – December 2016. An investigation of other properties in the Americas region is ongoing.
Findings show that malware was installed on servers that processed payment cards used at restaurants and bars of 12 IHG managed properties. Cards used at the front desk of these properties were not affected. The malware searched for track data (cardholder name, card number, expiration date, and internal verification code) read from the magnetic stripe of a payment card as it was being routed through the affected server.
A list of the affected restaurants and bars, along with the specific time frames for each (times vary by location) is located at www.ihg.com/protectingourguests. The site also contains more information on steps guests may take to protect their information.
It is always advisable to remain vigilant to the possibility of fraud by reviewing your payment card statements for any unauthorized activity. You should immediately report any unauthorized charges to your card issuer because payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner. The phone number to call is usually on the back of your payment card.
IHG has been working with the security firms to review IHG’s security measures, confirm that this issue has been remediated, and evaluate ways to enhance IHG’s security measures. IHG has notified law enforcement and is working with the payment card networks so that the banks that issue payment cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring on the affected cards. IHG also has established a dedicated call center to answer any questions affected guests may have.