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Capital One data breach 2019: What to do if you have been affected

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 30/07/2019 Tom Herbert
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

More than 100 million Capital One customers have had their personal information stolen in a data breach, the company revealed earlier today.

The financial services firm said the data included the names, addresses and phone numbers of people along with dates of birth and self-reported income.

The announcement came after the alleged hacker was arrested on Monday.

Here's what to do if you've been affected.

Who has been hacked?

Capital One, based in McLean, Virginia, said the hack has affected approximately 100 million individuals in the US and around six million in Canada.

The hacker targeted people who had applied for the firm's credit card products between 2005 and 2019.

Compromised information includes the personal information Capital One collects during credit card applications such names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and self-reported income.

In a statement released on Monday, the firm also said the hacker was able to access credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history and contact information as well as fragments of transaction information from a total of 23 days in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In addition, around 140,000 social security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers were compromised in the US.

In Canada, about one million social insurance numbers belonging to Capital One credit card customers were also compromised.

The hacker did not gain access to credit card account numbers, it said.

What has Capital One said?

Capital One is a major credit card issuer in the US and also operates retail banks.

The firm said said they would notify those individuals who have been affected by the breach.

"We will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to everyone affected," it added.

Chairman and CEO Richard D Fairbank said: "I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right."

What to do if you have been hacked?

  • Check if your accounts have been affected and immediately shut down suspicious activity
  • Freeze your credit - freezing your credit reports at the three major firms - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - means no one can open accounts in your name as it prevents creditors from checking your credit history. It does not cost anything and will not affect your credit score.
  • Check your credit card activity - ff you still suspect your data was hacked, check bank statements to make sure there are no charges you don't recognise. You can also sign up for transaction alerts. Contact the bank if you suspect you have been affected.
  • Change your passwords
  • Set up a fraud alert
  • Sign up for additional protection
  • Check your credit reports with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion​ - you get free reports once you have set up a fraud alert and you can check for any suspicious activity on your account.
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