Hacker gains access to Capital One accounts

BBB advises stay calm, but don’t wait to protect yourself

BOZEMAN – In one of the biggest data breaches ever, a Seattle woman gained access to more than 100 million Capital One accounts and applications. The Department of Justice arrested Paige Thompson for allegedly breaking into a Capital One server and gaining access to 140,000 Social Security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers.

Capital One reports the hack occurred in March and the company says it has fixed the vulnerability in its system. Capital One adds it is, “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.” Capital One is still investigating.

Capital One adds the breach affected around 100 million people in the United States and about 6 million people in Canada. However, “no credit card account number or log-in credentials were compromised and over 99% of Social Security numbers were not compromised,” according to the company.

The Better Bureau serving the Northwest and Pacific reminds consumers that they are not liable for fraudulent charges on stolen credit cards. However, there are some actions you should take to protect your information following this breach:

Contact Capital One. Check its website for the latest information. Type the name directly into your browser. Do NOT click on a link from an email or social media message.

If your credit card has been compromised. You will likely hear from Capital One first. If you have questions, call the customer service number on the back of your card.

Credit freeze or fraud alert. Consider putting one on your credit reports with the three major credit reporting agencies (go.bbb.org/creditfreeze). This will prevent anyone form accessing your credit report or scores.

If your credit card(s) has been breached:

•Monitor your credit card statements carefully (go online; don’t wait for the paper statement).

•If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately so the charge can be reversed and a new card issued.

•Keep receipts in case you need to prove which charges you authorized and which ones you did not.

Beware of scammers. They may pretend to be from the retailer, bank or your credit card issuer, telling you that you card was compromised and suggesting actions to “fix” the problem. Phishing emails may attempt to fool you into providing your credit card information or ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, either of which can download malware onto your computer.

Report any fraudulent issues or scams to BBB Scam Tracker and follow BBB on Twitter @BBBNWP for the latest updates.


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