You’re one of the roughly 100 million credit card applications that was compromised, or one of an estimated 77,000 bank account numbers exposed, or 140,000 Social Security numbers hacked in the recent Capital One data breach.
Capital One says they'll let you know if you're a victim.
Wallet Hub's analyst Jill Gonzalez said don't wait...be proactive and get out there and take care of it.
1. Sign up for 24/7 credit monitoring – This way, you’ll find out immediately if someone tries to open an account in your name. WalletHub, for example, offers free 24/7 monitoring of your TransUnion credit report (https://wallethub.com/free-credit-monitoring/).
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication – Capital One was hacked, but your cell phone wasn’t. So use it as another layer of protection when logging into your email account and financial websites.
3. A Freeze Is Better Than an Alert – It probably isn’t necessary in this case, but if you really want to protect yourself from fraudulent borrowing, freeze your three major credit reports (https://wallethub.com/edu/credit-freeze/25824/) (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). This will prevent anyone but you from accessing them, thus making it impossible to take out a loan or line of credit. A fraud alert (https://wallethub.com/edu/fraud-alert-credit-report/25826/), in contrast, doesn’t actually do much.
4. Suppress Fraudulent Info – While you can dispute (https://wallethub.com/edu/credit-report-dispute/25501/) run-of-the-mill credit report inaccuracies, it’s best to use a process called “suppression” / “blocking” (https://wallethub.com/edu/suppressed-credit-report/23483/) to get rid of negative info resulting from identity theft. In short, this makes it so the records in question can’t make reappearance after they’re initially removed.
5. Never Respond to Unsolicited Requests for Information – Don’t be surprised if you see an uptick in unsolicited calls and emails requesting personal information. Just remember: Never answer if you didn’t ask to be contacted.
For more advice, check out WalletHub’s identity theft guide as well as the steps you should take if your identity is stolen.
Wallet Hub officials said “Recent Capital One credit card applicants should certainly be more worried than usual, and especially vigilant, following the company’s data breach.”
Gonzalez said these hacks and data breaches are the new norm and they'll most likely happen to everyone sooner or later.