Tag Archives: stealing

Hotels Top Identity Theft List

Identity theft is the new watchword; hackers, thieves and criminals are continually discovering new methods to twist technology in an effort to steal personal information. Social media networks, cell phones, discarded utility bills and outright theft of personal property are all means employed by thieves to hijack your personal information.

Trustwave, a security and compliance company, provides security information services and end-to-end solutions for businesses in an effort to protect confidential information systems. A recent report shows that hotels are now the top source for credit card data theft, surpassing restaurants for the top spot; nearly 40% of all personal data in 2009 came from hotels/motels compared to just 13% of thefts from restaurants.

Hackers target hotel/motel booking and reservation centers due to the high-number of credit card numbers these entities keep “on-file.” Like the Internet, once a credit card is in the system, it’s available. A successful hacker can steal thousands of credit card numbers and, in essence, thousands–or millions–of dollars. Credit card numbers are used for numerous hotel services, such as bars, beaches, golf courses, swimming pools, gift shops, spas, and other recreational areas; however, they’re all processed through one main database.

Since hotels use proprietary systems, they’re easy for hackers to exploit: a computer system at one hotel is similar, if not exactly the same, as the computer system at a competing hotel.

The other unavoidable fact of hotels and motels are the number of employees who have access to the computer system and your personal data. According to an ABC News Report; “You have so many different employees going through the system that it allows them to either skim cards or put in malware that lets the bad guys hack into the system.”

In June 2010, Destination Hotels & Resorts had its computer system hacked and the credit card data of more than 700 guests from across the country was stolen; in January, Wyndham reported that their computer systems were breached and hackers accessed information from 31 hotels between November 2009 and January 2o1o. They never reported how many cards were compromised.

Credit card companies usually don’t require consumers to pay for unauthorized charges, but credit card users must report the theft in a timely manner to ensure their identity remains safe; the best method to is to check statements regularly and keep tabs on credit reports.

Don’t Forget to Secure the Garage!

Securing a home is something with which most of us are familiar, even if we don’t own one. Security bars, electronic locks, home security systems, video cameras, and motion-sensor lighting are all tools that help deter crime. Too often, however, the focus is on the home’s living areas, leave a “weak link” in home security that’s easy to exploit. Continue reading

“Coplifter” Gets Nabbed for Theft

The dark underbelly of crime is a malevolent, violent world which most have never witnessed; unless, of course, they live their lives in that world. Most, if not all, illegal activities stem from the same place. From the 50,000 foot view, all of the pieces interlock to form a “hierarchy” of criminal activities.

Think of it this way: at the bottom end, the grifters, petty thieves, and car burglars, usually younger and less experienced, often amusing, place. Some crimes, after being committed, leave us scratching our heads and wondering, “What were they thinking?” As we’ve alluded to before, video surveillance is being used on an increasing basis to not only deter or document criminal activities, but as a means of stretching available resources, doing “more” with “less.” Where businesses often had a security team, they are now able to have strategically placed security personnel that, with radios and camera surveillance, can cover a larger area in a more effective and efficient manner.

A ruined career for a hundred or so bucks. Crime obviously does not pay. Although the officer denied the charges, the Judge stated that the games ‘certainly left the site’ after watching the CCTV evidence. Video doesn’t lie.

If you need to set up video surveillance, please let us know. U-Spy has been in the surveillance field for 20 years and can answer any questions you might have. Email us, at USpy Store,  or give us a call at (773) 529-2779.