Marriott International, the parent company of Starwood Properties has reported a cybersecurity breach which compromised the personal information of as many as 500 million individuals worldwide. The breach of information targeted the Starwood Properties guest reservation database by an unauthorized party on or before September 10, 2018.

Marriott has established a dedicated call center to answer questions about the incident and is currently contacting affected guests whose emails are in the Starwood guest reservation database, and providing them the opportunity to enroll in WebWatcher security free of charge for one year. The program monitors internet sites where personal information is shared and generates an alert to the consumer if evidence of their personal information is found. Additional information can be found at info.starwoodhotels.com.

If Granite State Credit Union member’s cards are impacted and require replacement, the credit union will contact them directly for replacement.
In response to an increase in merchant data breaches GSCU offers Mobile Wallets, EMV Chip Card Technology, EnFact Fraud Protection, CardValet, and more all working to protect you and safeguard your information! So how do the products listed above help protect against this?

  • CardValet – This is a robust mobile card control app that allows cardholders to control their cards from their smartphone. The app allows cardholders to turn their debit card on and off, establish transaction controls for dollar amount limits, specific merchants, and geographic locations. The cardholder can receive alerts when transactions are approved or exceed transaction controls set by the cardholder. The app also allows cardholders to stay informed of potential fraud with alerts on attempted or declined transactions. Lastly, the app provides real-time balances on accounts. Simply visit your device’s app store and search for “CardValet” to download this useful app. Take control and show fraud who’s boss!
  • Mobile Wallets – A mobile wallet utilizes information transfer technology such as Near-Field Communications (NFC) to perform contactless payments. The cardholder’s debit card number is replaced with a series of randomly-generated numbers, which is called the “token”. These tokens can then be passed through the networks needed to process the payment without actual bank details being exposed. This technology helps secure the cardholder’s bank account details in card present and eCommerce transactions.
  • EMV Chip Card Technology – EMV provides security through cryptography which includes time sensitive authorization codes. An EMV transaction ensures only GSCU can read the data sent and only applies to card present scenarios. Online purchases are not protected by EMV, as the chip cannot work online.
  • EnFact – EnFact is our fraud prevention service that monitors cardholder spending habits in relation to worldwide fraud trends. If a transaction is deemed as suspicious by the fraud prevention service the cardholder will be contacted to verify transaction activity within minutes of the attempt.

What you can do:

  • Rest assured that GSCU is always working to take every necessary action to protect you in the event of card breaches.
  • Monitor your account history by using Mobile and OnLine Banking and notify your financial institution whenever you notice something suspicious.
  • If an ATM or POS terminal at a cash register or gas pump looks funny, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else and report it to the merchant.
  • Download CardValet and set your own transaction controls.
  • Opt to use more secure payment methods when available like Mobile Wallets and EMV
  • Program EnFact’s phone number in your phone so you recognize the number if they call you
  • Make sure GSCU has your most up to date contact information