PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Capital One is the latest company impacted by a large-scale data breach.
A hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customer accounts and credit card applications earlier this year.
“It’s information that’s related to credit card applications, not just credit cardholders information,” Director of Monitoring and Response for Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute Kris Rush told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday. “So anyone who filled out a credit card information from approximately 2005 to 2019 might have had some component of their data breached.”
The FBI arrested software engineer Paige Thompson for the attack, accusing her of stealing 140,000 social security numbers in the U.S. and 80,000 linked bank account numbers.
So how do you know if your data was breached?
“It’s more and more commonplace for companies to notify victims,” Rush said.
That’s what Capital One has pledged to do.
But Rush said to be proactive and check out your credit report.
“If you see new lines of credit that have been opened in your name or if you see new inquiries that have been opened in your name that you didn’t initiate, those are some really good indicators that you might be concerned,” Rush said.
Besides checking your credit report, you can also freeze your credit account so nobody else can open an account in your name. You can also file taxes before a scammer uses your info to get your tax refund.
Rush said hackers generally sell your data to scam artists attempting to steal from you.
“That makes a really good trove of data for things like phishing or targeted emails, where I am attempting to get you to click on something, to download something, or to take some action,” Rush said.
“And as a hacker or attacker, if I can make that email look like I know something about you, you’re more likely to trust what I am asking you to do,” Rush added.
Here’s another warning.
In the wake of this breach, watch out for those offering to help you.
“Just paying attention to where they get their help from and who’s reaching out to them in these incidents,” Rush said.