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What does the Capital One data breach mean to you?

On Monday July 29th, Capital One announced that personal information for 6 million bank customers in Canada and 100 million in the U.S. had been accessed by a hacker.

The information was mostly linked to consumers and small businesses who applied for Capital One credit cards between 2005 and 2019. In addition to names, addresses, phone numbers, postal codes, email addresses, birthdates, and self-reported income, customer status information was also exposed, including credit limit scores, balances and payment histories. In Canada, where Capital One provides Mastercard credit cards for Costco Wholesale’s Canadian retail network and the Hudson’s Bay Company, one million social insurance numbers were compromised.

The FBI has arrested the person thought to be responsible for the hack. Capital One has said that credit card account numbers and login information was not compromised, and that it “immediately fixed the configuration vulnerability” that allowed the hack to happen.

At Educators Financial Group, we consider it our responsibility to keep our clients informed about financial issues that could affect them. Read on to find out what the Capital One data breach means for you.

Steps to take if you think you were affected

  1. Check your credit card statement for unusual activity now, and continue checking regularly for several months. If you have questions about any transactions, call the phone number on the back of your credit card.
  2. Capital One will contact affected customers, but has not yet specified how. In the meantime, be extra careful about phone calls or emails you might receive regarding the breach. If you think you received a phishing email, contact Capital One at abuse@capitalone.com.
  3. If your personal information has been compromised, you can apply for a new Social Insurance Number (SIN) from the government.
  4. Take advantage of the free credit monitoring and identity protection that Capital One will be offering those affected by the breach.

Even if you were not affected, you may want to take advantage of features that Capital One regularly offers. Start by setting up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) through Capital One online banking—a second form of authentication that adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to online accounts. In addition, you can activate customized account alerts that will notify you via email/text when a transaction over a certain amount takes place on your credit card.

Learn how to protect yourself from financial fraud and scams

In order to protect our clients, Educators has provided guidelines on how to decrease your chances of being a victim of financial scams. Check out Protecting your money 101: financial scams in The Learning Centre.

Where to get more information

Capital One has provided an online page with updates, which also includes a telephone number to call to speak with an agent: 1-833-727-1234.

 

The information provided is general in nature and is provided with the understanding that it may not be relied upon as, nor considered to be, the rendering of tax, legal, accounting or professional advice. Please ensure to consult your accountant and/or legal advisor for specific advice related to your circumstances. Educators Financial Group will not be held responsible or liable for any losses, costs, damages or expenses incurred by reason of reliance as a result of the aforementioned information. The information presented was obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable. However, Educators Financial Group cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees, and expenses mall all be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed—their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

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