Trump carded: Wannabe prez's hotels 'ground zero' in banking breach

Crooks said to have pilfered payment info from resorts

Donald Trump
Photo by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC 3.0

Payment systems used by Trump Hotels might have been compromised, allowing copies of credit cards to fall into the hands of fraudsters, it is feared.

Investigative journo Brian Krebs said that officials at several banks have told him they have spotted a pattern in fraudulent charges appearing on people's cards: all the victims had recently stayed at Donald Trump's swish Trump Hotels.

Plush hotels in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Miami have all had their security breached, it is claimed.

According to Krebs, the breach was traced back to February of 2015. The total number of cards exposed in the attack has not yet been reported, nor has any detail on how the alleged attackers were able to get their hands on the credit card information.

Donald Trump's third son Eric, executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization, said in a statement late on Wednesday:

Like virtually every other company these days, we have been alerted to potential suspicious credit card activity and are in the midst of a thorough investigation to determine whether it involves any of our properties.

We are committed to safeguarding all guests' personal information and will continue to do so vigilantly.

The breach, if confirmed, will come at a particularly bad time for Donald Trump, who recently announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Trump was just dumped from Macy's stores after he referred to Mexicans and other people immigrating to the US as "killers and rapists" in a speech announcing his bid for the White House.

Trump Hotels would add itself to a dubious list of chain businesses to fall victim to credit card hackers. Last year, retailer Target ended up losing card details on more than 40 million customers through a breach in its point-of-sale software. Target would end up having to pay $148m in costs from the breach.

Hardware store Home Depot and delivery company UPS have also seen customer card details swiped by hackers recently. Those breaches, like the Target attack, were carried out via compromised POS terminals. ®

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