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Capital One Data Breach: What to do after the banking hack


Angela Lang / CNET

A data breach at Capitol One servers last month uncovered the personal information of nearly 1

06 million customers and claimants of the bank. The hack, which included US and Canadian banking and credit card issuers, took place one week after Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission (19459005) closed a hack in 2017 that affected 147 million customers.

According to Capital One, the breach on July 19 led to the hacker gaining access to personal data related to credit card applications from 2005 to early 2019 for consumers, applicants and small businesses. The personal data disclosed included names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data, social security numbers, and bank account numbers.

According to Capital One, about 140,000 social security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers were reported. And for Canadian credit card customers and claimants, about 1 million Social Security numbers. However, Capital One said the hack revealed no credit card account numbers or credentials.

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In response, Capital One announced it would notify customers and credit card applicants whose data was disclosed in the breach, and the Department of Justice announced that a Seattle-based engineer was being sued for theft.

Learn if you've been affected by the Capital One privacy breach and what you can do to protect yourself.

How to Determine if Your Information Was Stolen

Capital One has advised that customers affected by the hack are affected. You can probably expect a letter in the mail – or maybe an e-mail or a phone call – from the company if your data has been disclosed. At the moment, Capital One does not have a website that you can check for yourself other than the Equifax tool that was released to see if you were part of the data breach.

Be wary of e-mails and phone calls from fraudsters posing as Capital One or government officials asking for credit card or account information or your social security number.

What Capital One Is Doing Against the Hack

Capital One claimed to have fixed the exploit of the hacker used to access the data and worked with the federal prosecution authorities on the violation. The bank announced that it would appeal to customers involved in the hack and provide free credit monitoring and identity protection to customers affected by the breach.

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How to Monitor Your Credit Report for Fraud

You do not have to wait for contacting Capital One: you can now take multiple steps to look for fraud.

Monitor your credit reports. Receive a free credit report each year from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. (Note that Equifax recovers after its own data breach .) Look in your report for unusual or unfamiliar activities, such as: For example, after the appearance of new accounts that you have not opened. Watch your credit card accounts and bank statements for unexpected charges and payments.

Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Select a Credit Monitoring Service which will constantly monitor your credit reports through major credit bureaus and notify you when unusual activity is detected. To facilitate monitoring, you can set up fraud alerts that notify you when someone tries to use your identity to create credit. A credit bureau such as LifeLock can cost $ 10 to $ 30 a month – or you can use a free service such as Credit Karma . Capital One said it will provide free credit monitoring and identity protection to all affected customers.

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What if you suspect you are a victim of fraud or identity theft?

Once you suspect your ID has been stolen, you can take steps to stop unauthorized indictments and restore your identity.

Place a fraud alert. If you suspect fraud, contact each of the credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The warning notifies creditors that you have been the victim of fraud and tells them that you are indeed making new loan requests on your behalf. Placing a fraud alert does not affect your credit rating.

Contact fraud departments. For any business or credit card company that believes that an account has been opened or charged without your knowledge, contact the Fraud Section. Although you are not responsible for any fraudulent charges on an account, you must report suspicious activity immediately.

Freeze your balance. If you do not want to prevent anyone from providing credit without your permission and requesting loans and services on your behalf, you can freeze your balance. You must apply for freeze at each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To apply for a new balance, you must once again freeze your balance with any credit bureau. You can either apply for a temporary release of the frost or let it thaw permanently.

Document everything. Keep copies of all documents, issues and records of your conversations about the theft.

Create a recovery plan. The Federal Trade Commission has a useful tool for reporting identity theft and restoring your identity through a personal recovery plan.

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