Holiday Inn parent co. notes 1,174-hotel data breach

This June 10, 2015 photo shows a chip credit card in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(WPRI) — If you stayed at the Swansea Holiday Inn Express or South Kingstown Holiday Inn last fall – or if a friend or family member did – there’s a chance credit card data was stolen, according to Holiday Inn’s parent company, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).

The company announced last Friday that more than 1,174 franchise hotels of various brands in the United States had data breaches. IHG has in its stable Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, and other hotel brands. Malware was downloaded onto front desk computers, and when a clerk swiped a card to charge it, the number and information was funneled through hackers.

Credit card networks told some of the hotels that were hit about patterns of unauthorized charges after the hotels charged cards legitimately, IHG said in a statement.

In Rhode Island, just the Holiday Inn in South Kingstown was affected, but 17 in Massachusetts were hit, including the Holiday Inn Express in Swansea.

IHG has set up a drop-down menu-based system where you must select individual states and cities to see if your hotel was affected.

Besides the Rhode Island and Massachusetts hotels, a list by Computerworld’s Darlene Storm noted high numbers in popular travel destinations, including 45 hotels in New York, 64 in California, and 163 in Texas.

The company has apologized for the breach, and is advising customers to watch their bills and credit reports.