Capital One Reveals Massive Data Breach

If you’re a Capital One customer or have applied for one of the products in the past, you may be a victim in the latest major hack. This week, this bank announced a data breach exposed personal data for 100 million Americans as well as six million Canadians.

The breach, which is being described as one of the largest ever, involved individuals who applied for the bank’s credit card products as well as existing customers. Additionally, linked banks accounts for 80,000 secured credit card customers were compromised. As for Social Security numbers, Capital One notes that 99% were not impacted, although approximately 140,000 were along with one million Canadian Social Insurance Numbers. However, the company says that no credit card numbers or log-in credentials were exposed.

Unlike several past data breaches, Capital One reports that the FBI has already identified and arrested the person responsible for the hack. Additionally the company notes, “Based on our analysis to date, we believe it is unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.” Despite that, the bank notes that they are continuing to monitor the situation and their analysis could change.

In a statement regarding the incident, Capital One chairman and CEO Richard D. Fairbank said, “While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened. He added, “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”

Notably, this latest breach arrives on the heels of a settlement credit bureau Equifax reached with the FTC resulting from their 2017 hack. That breach impacted approximately 147 million Americans, who can now claim compensation, credit monitoring services, and more as part of the agreed upon deal. While the settlement won’t be finalized until December, customers can file claims now through January 22nd, 2020.

Following this latest breach, experts advise that consumers considering freezing their credit report with all three major bureaus. Luckily, thanks to an act of Congress that took effect last year, this can now be done for free. Even if your reports are frozen, it’s also suggested that individuals continue to monitor their credit and remain vigilant (the bank says they will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to all affected). Finally Capital One reminds customers that they should not give out personal information over the phone unless they are sure they are actually on the line with the appropriate party. Instead, they should hang up and call the number printed on their cards.

Less than two years after the massive Equifax data breach, North Americans have yet another reason to be concerned about their personal information. The good news is that there are now more ways to protect yourself. Thus, regardless of whether you’re a Capital One customer or not, now is a great time to look into your options and ensure you’re doing all you can to prevent identity theft and fraud.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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