Millions of Capital One customers have been affected by a recently discovered data breach. The bank says it happened in March when a software engineer allegedly exploited a vulnerability to access its systems. Approximately 100 million people in the United States and 6 million more in Canada are affected. The data breach has compromised 140,000 Social Security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers.
The employee was already arrested yesterday for her role in the breach. Most of the leaked information comes from credit card applications submitted between 2005 and 2019. Capital One indicated it fixed the vulnerability and said it is “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.” However, the company is still investigating.
Are You Affected?
If you think you might have been affected by this data breach, there’s a few things you can do. Here are the guidelines to determine if your information had been accessed as well as steps on how to proceed:
- Capital One will notify affected individuals through “a variety of channels” and offer free credit monitoring and identity protection available to all affected.
- Enroll in account text and/or email alerts to help keep track of activity.
- Monitor credit card accounts for unusual or suspicious activity.
- Call the number on the back of the credit card if unusual activity is observed.
- Stay vigilant about the possibility of phishing emails and calls following the breach. Capital One is not calling customers to ask for credit card or account information or Social Security numbers over the phone or via email.
- Report emails suspected of phishing activity by forwarding it to the official Capital One security account, firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not reply to suspicious emails and delete them after forwarding them to Capital One.
For more information and updates on how to tell if you’ve been affected, customers can visit the Capital One website established for this breach, https://www.capitalone.com/facts2019.