A hacker accessed personal information of over 100 million Capital One credit-card customers and applicants in the U.S. The breach stands to be one of the worst for U.S. consumers because of the type of financial information that was accessed, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The breach was discovered on July 19th. The alleged hacker, an engineer formerly employed by Amazon named Paige A. Thompson, was arrested and charged with computer fraud. Although the system’s vulnerability was immediately fixed upon discovery, Thompson was able to access personal information via credit card applications.
The breach targeted consumers and small business who applied for credit cards between 2005-2019. If you have a Capital One credit card or have applied for one in the past, here is what you need to know to protect your accounts and information.
Am I Affected?
If you have a Capital One credit card or have applied for one in that time frame, your information is part of this data breach.
The information leaked includes names, addresses, ZIP Codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income, the bank said. Consumer data including credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, and some transaction data are also part of the breach. Also exposed were about 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers.
Capital One will be notifying individual customers whose information has been compromised. If you recently applied for a credit card, you should take advantage of the free credit monitoring offered by the company.
How Can I Safeguard My Data?
Security experts recommend taking a few immediate steps, such as freezing your credit and upping your security process. Freezing your account makes it virtually impossible for someone to open a new account in your name. To monitor your data and enhance security, you should:
- Change your login credentials
- Close your compromised account or credit card and open a new one
- Check your credit report annually
- File taxes early
The investigation is ongoing. Capital One credit card holder should continue to check the Capital One website for customer updates. If you fit any of the criteria listed above, contact Vanessa Cantley of BCCN at (502) 587-2002 to discuss your rights.