San Diego hotels confirm credit card breach

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SAN DIEGO — Credit and debit card information of as many as 55,000 guests who stayed at five hotels in San Diego was compromised in a security breach, the company that owns the lodging houses announced Monday.

Guests who stayed at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina on Shelter Island, The Dana Inn on Mission Bay, Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites on Shelter Island, the Pacific Terrace Hotel in Pacific Beach and the Days Hotel on Hotel Circle South are being advised to check their credit and debit accounts for signs of unusual activity.

The properties are owned by San Diego-based Bartell Hotels, which said it called in law enforcement and independent forensic data experts to investigate the breach.

“We sincerely apologize for any concern this incident may cause our customers,” Bartell Hotels CEO Richard Bartell said in a statement issued this afternoon. “Our brand is built on the foundation of transparency with our customers, and we assure you the root of this problem has been addressed and remediated so you may continue to vacation in San Diego with confidence at one of our Bartell Hotels’ locations.”

The breach affected customers who used payment cards for lodging, food and beverage, or retail transactions between Feb. 16 and May 13 of this year, according to Bartell. No other personal identifying information was given up, he said.

He said the company is in the process of notifying the affected guests about the breach, which appears to be the work of a third-party intruder. The investigation is still underway, so he did not elaborate further. Financial institutions have also been notified.

The hotel owner is providing a toll-free information line, at (877) 437- 4010, to address customer questions and concerns, and has contracted with AllClear ID to provide identity monitoring and protection services to affected individuals.