Capital One Data Breach Could Affect Over 100 Million Consumers
Following the major data breach involving Capital One, Attorney General Jeff Landry is offering consumer tips to those potentially impacted in Louisiana.“Unfortunately, Capital One is estimating that this event exposed the sensitive personal information of approximately 100 million credit card applicants and customers,” said General Landry. “This is a very serious matter, and my office has been working diligently since the breach was revealed to aid affected consumers in Louisiana.”
According to Capital One - a hacker gained access to sensitive consumer data including names, addresses, zip codes/postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and self-reported income. In some cases - the hacker also obtained credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, contact information, and fragments of transaction data. About 140,000 Social Security numbers and about 80,000 linked bank account numbers were also compromised.
General Landry offers the following tips to protect consumers’ identities in an event like this:
- Beware of Phishing Scams. In the wake of a data breach, scammers may call or e-mail you pretending to be from Capital One. Never give your credit card number, account information, or your Social Security number over the phone or via email.
- Pull your credit reports. Check for any new accounts you have not opened, any suspicious usage on existing accounts, or any inquiries you did not initiate. Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for free every 12 months by visiting www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Monitor your credit card accounts. Look for charges you do not recognize and promptly report suspicious charges to your bank. If you do not recognize accounts or activity on your credit report, visit www.IdentityTheft.gov.
- Consider freezing your credit reports. Doing so makes it more difficult for someone to open a new account using your name and information.
- Place a fraud alert on your Credit Report. This acts as an alert to potential lenders, asking them to take additional steps in confirming your identity before granting credit. You can call the toll-free fraud number of any one of the three nationwide credit bureaus and place an initial or extended fraud alert on your credit report [Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian: 1-888-397-3742; TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289].
“Taking basic precautions and knowing the appropriate steps to make in the event of a data breach can help prevent Louisiana consumers from falling victim to fraudsters,” concluded General Landry. “My office and I will continue to do all we can to get to the bottom of the breach and to bring justice and some sense of security back to those affected.”