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Indiana hotel operator reports data breach

– A nationwide hotel operator is investigating a suspected data security breach that may have compromised credit card and debit card information of customers who stayed at properties in eight states last year, the company announced Monday.

White Lodging Services Corp. said in a statement that the suspected breach affected cards used at hotel restaurants and lounges between March 20 and Dec. 16 at 14 properties it manages. The front desk system also was affected at one property, according to White Lodging, which did not say how many customers were affected.

“The unlawfully accessed data may have included names printed on customers’ credit or debit cards, credit or debit card numbers, the security code and card expiration dates,” the company said in a statement.

Merrillville-based White Lodging, which owns and manages 168 hotels under various brands in 21 states and is a separate entity from specific hotel brands, said the breach may have affected properties in: Chicago; Indianapolis and Merrillville; Austin, Texas; Richmond, Va.; Erie, Pa..; Louisville, Ky.; Plantation, Fla.; and Denver, Boulder and Bloomfield, Colo.

White Lodging said it is working with federal law enforcement officials and the credit card companies and has initiated a review of all its properties.

The properties include hotels under various Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton brands and include more than 30 restaurants. The company has nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and nearly 9,000 employees, according to its website.

White Lodging said the company is arranging to offer a year of complimentary personal identity protection services to all affected cardholders, who also are encouraged to place a fraud alert on their credit files.

Some financial institutions are increasing their fraud monitoring or have reissued cards, the statement said.

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