07/31/2019: Capital One Data Breach: Tips to Combat Identity Theft
On July 19, 2019, Capital One Financial Corporation announced that there was unauthorized access by an outside individual who obtained personal information of people who had applied for its credit card products and to Capital One credit card customers. The perpetrator has since been arrested, though this event affected an estimated 100 million individuals in the U.S. and approximately 6 million in Canada.
The Capital One data breach affects millions of consumers, and Wolf River Community Bank stands ready to assist our customers. It is the banks in Wisconsin and across the nation that shield their customers from the financial harm caused by data breaches. It is as simple as this: when a breach occurs, banks often bear the brunt of the costs so their customers won’t have to.
“Have I been compromised?” is the biggest question on our customers’ minds. We offer the following tips for consumers who are not sure if their information has been compromised, as well as steps for consumers who know their information was stolen:
Not sure if your information has been compromised?
- Check all your accounts via online services provided by your bank or credit card provider and not just your Capital One account. If you don’t have access to or haven’t set up an online account, you can call the company directly for assistance in reviewing your accounts. Consumers should be looking for any discrepancies in their purchasing habits. Be sure to do this over the next few months! Just because the bad guys have your information now doesn’t mean they will use it immediately.
- Monitor your accounts closely and frequently. Balance your checkbook monthly and match credit card statements with receipts. By viewing accounts online and checking throughout the month, you’ll be able to identify possible problems sooner.
- Review your credit report every three or four months. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus per year. Request a single report from one of the bureaus every three or four months. By staggering these requests, you can monitor your credit throughout the year.
You know your information has been compromised:
- Contact the security departments of your creditors or bank to close the compromised account(s). Explain that you are a victim of identity theft and a particular card or account has been compromised. Ask them to provide documentation that the account has been closed. You should also follow up with a letter to the agency documenting your request.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) via phone immediately to request a fraud alert be placed on your file. Once again, explain that you are a victim of identity theft and ask that they grant no new credit without your approval. Again, follow up with a letter to the agency documenting your request.
- File a report with your local police department and request a copy of the report. This is good documentation to have on hand to prove your identity has been stolen as you begin the process of restoring your credit and good name.
- Document all your actions and keep copies of everything.
Whether you are sure or unsure your financial information has been compromised, one of your first calls should be to your bank. Wolf River Community Bank has a variety of resources available for customers that can help with situations like these and our bank staff are also knowledgeable and more than willing to help. If you have questions or concerns, please give us a call at 920-779-7000.
Capital One has created a resource webpage that may be helpful to consumers as well. It can be found at www.capitalone.com/facts2019.
Contact information for the three major credit bureaus.
Government site for Identity Theft victims: www.identitytheft.gov.