You know your credit card number has been compromised, so it wouldn’t surprise you to receive a call from Capital One asking you to verify information. Ask yourself: is the call truly legitimate?
The fact that millions of Americans are suddenly wondering if their information was subject to the breach makes them vulnerable to a particular type of attack. Hackers know that this high-profile attack occurred, and are scrambling to put together yet another exploit that can take advantage of the vulnerabilities and fear of the population. These cybercriminals prey on individuals by placing phone calls and identifying themselves as Capital One customer service personnel who want to help consumers confirm their identity to better secure their accounts. Whether or not your information was actually compromised doesn’t matter to these criminals — they are simply preying on the fact that consumers are often unsettled and might make bad decisions in an effort to stay safe.
Once a cybercriminal makes a consumer believe they are speaking with Capital One or their other credit card companies, it’s only a single step further to convince the unwary victim to pass over their personal credentials — passcodes, Social Security numbers, account passwords and more. This is what the hackers are really after, the personal information of an individual either to access their financial systems or to impersonate the individual in the future to open new accounts with high spending levels. It’s important for consumers to know that a phone call isn’t the only way they might be contacted. Emails are also a valuable attack vector for hackers, as they can mask their return email address to appear as a trusted contact or create a false website front as a way to capture your passcodes and more.
Whether you truly were one of the 100 million Americans whose information was breached in the Capital One attack or not, now is a good time to take necessary steps to protect your accounts. Experts recommend that you immediately contact the three major credit agencies and request your free annual credit report: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can also ask that the credit agencies pause any credit requests from you for a period of time — a move that does not negatively affect your credit rating. It doesn’t hurt to sign up for a credit monitoring service and if you were one of the Capital One customers whose information was lifted, you will receive free credit monitoring and identity protection to help keep you and your identity safe. If you suspect that your credit or personal information has already been used fraudulently after this hack or any other, immediately place a fraud alert with the three credit agencies, document everything that happened along with timelines. You can utilize tools from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in an effort to regain control of any accounts that were infiltrated.
Cybersecurity attacks are not victimless crimes, and the attack itself can have a ripple effect on communities across the country and around the world. Understanding the ways hackers are able to get past our business and personal defenses is the first step towards stopping these criminals in their tracks. Want to learn more about how to keep your organization safe with advanced cybersecurity strategies and tools? Contact the professionals at LAN Infotech today at 954-717-1990. Whether you’ve already moved your organization to the cloud or are ready to make the shift to cloud computing, our team can help organizations of all sizes gain the benefits of updating your business infrastructure.