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Approximately 100 million Capital One customers in the U.S. and Canada are caught up in a data hack that the bank claims happened in March. If you think you're among them, here are a few steps you can take.
Where to start: The bank says it will notify all affected customers, including 140,000 whose social security numbers were compromised, and offer identify protection services and credit monitoring. Both are worth taking advantage of.
In the meantime, check your statements for unusual activity. If you see anything unexpected, report it to Capital One immediately through their app or online. Moreover, Capital One will allow you to freeze your accounts while the situation is worked out.
What's next: Consider freezing your credit if you don't plan to apply for new loans or credit cards. This will prevent bad actors from attempting to take out new loans or open lines of credit in your name, as banks will be unable to view your credit history.
What to watch: Continue keeping eyes on your credit. There are a number of low-cost credit monitoring services that can help by alerting you to potential fraud. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau further recommends changing passwords often, checking your credit regularly, filing taxes early and more.
Be smart: The breach only affected people who applied for Capital One credit cards between 2005 and 2019.