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A massive data theft at Capital One exposed personal information, in some cases including social security numbers, of more than 100 million people. It is the largest amount of data stolen from any bank to date.
Everyone should assume that their social security number has been exposed between this breach and breaches of other major companies’ databases, such as Equifax’s. With that in mind, U.S. PIRG recommends all Americans should use their right by law to freeze their credit reports for free to safeguard their financial security. More information can be found at: https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/credit-report-freeze
U.S. PIRG’s Federal Consumer Program Senior Director Ed Mierzwinski issued the following statement:
“The Capital One breach impacting 100 million Americans is the largest-known breach of a bank. The hacker stole people’s credit applications which help make up their financial DNA--and in some cases included social security numbers. This information could be used to steal our identities or drain our finances.
“Coming on top of the settlement of the massive Equifax data breach, the Capital One breach should serve as a wakeup call to all consumers to hit freeze on their financial identity today to ensure they are protected. Credit freezes are free under federal law.”
“Capital One is taking the right initial steps by offering free identity protection and monitoring, but it has more questions to answer: When did it discover the breach? How did this happen? And, how is Capital One going to prevent future breaches? We need answers to ensure that increasingly frequent, large breaches such as this, Equifax and others don’t become the new norm.”
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