Protecting Yourself in the World of Data Breaches

An update about this post: 

March 23rd, 2020 - We posted this originally in August of 2019 in response to the news of a data breach and, looking back, it has some great info for any time the world goes a little sideways on us. The truth is that fraudsters have a way of taking advantage of people when we're feeling most vulnerable, so we updated this post today. Read it, share it, and stay safe, friends!

If you’re anything like us, the words “Fraud Alert” make you a little sick to your stomach, right?

Who was it this time? What info can they get? (And, most importantly) How can I protect myself for real?

Hey, we hear you.

A recent big data breach affected more than 100 million Capital One customers and, while Capital One has said it’s “unlikely” the info that leaked was used for fraud, we thought it was a good time to share some tips that will turn “unlikely” info “100% not at all”.

Tip #1: Never (ever, ever) click on a link in a fraud text that looks like it’s from us. If they're real, those fraud notifications will ask you to REPLY with a ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Help’ or ‘Stop’ but won’t have clickable links.

PLUS fraudsters know that the idea of losing money from fraud stresses us out.  They bank (pun intended) on the idea that they can pick a random phone number, send a text that says it’s from the fraud department, and they’ll get to steal some sensitive info without having to know anything about where you do your banking. Don’t fall for it friend!

(Bonus Tip: Our fraud department sends those texts from a 5-digit number. If it’s coming from a 10-digit phone number, it’s not them.)

Tip #2: You may get automated calls from our fraud department, but they’ll only ask for your Zip Code unless you confirm that a transaction is fraudulent. If that happens, you’ll be transferred to an agent for more help.

You won’t have to give us the PIN for your card or the CVV (those 3 numbers on the back) if there’s suspected fraud (or for any other reason). In fact, we’d go so far as to say there’s never a reason to tell anyone your PIN (that’s a capital P for Personal) and you’ll only need your CVV to shop online or over the phone.

If someone from the fake “Fraud Department” calls and asks for that info, no matter how serious or legit they sound, hang up and contact us right away.

(Bonus Tip: We know you want to trust your friends and family, but don’t give that PIN number to anyone. If you give them your PIN and they use it to take a little (or a lot of) extra cash for themselves, it can’t be reported as fraud. This makes Thanksgiving super awkward.)

Tip #3: The best way to keep your hard-earned cash is to keep an eye on your account online. You can (and should) always look for suspicious activity, but it’s also handy if you get a suspicious fraud call. All it takes is a quick glance to see if the activity they SAY you have on your account is actually ON your account, right?

(Bonus Tip: Want even more control? Download at our CardValet app to see all of our debit card activity, report suspicious activity, and turn your card on and off when you need to.)

The Bottom Line: If you suspect fraud anytime, we’re here for you. Contact us right away and let our amazingly smart and helpful team help you keep more of your money!