Data Breach: Protect Yourself

Capital One released information regarding a data breach that occurred earlier this year when a hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customers’ accounts and credit card applications. At this point in time, Capital One states that the vulnerability has been fixed and that it is “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.” However, the company is still investigating. It was also noted that “no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised and that over 99% of Social Security numbers were not compromised.”

Although only Capital One customers are impacted by this breach, we consider this is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone of how stolen cardholder information is used to commit fraud. Below we offer some tips for keeping your information safe whether you are dealing with TFB or someone you believe to represent any financial institution or credit card company.

Fraudsters have become increasingly adept at getting cardholders to share the information they need to commit fraud by posing as financial institution call center agents, or by sending text messages that look like suspicious activity alerts coming from your bank or credit card company. They are also known to call in to call centers posing as you requesting changes to your card information and limits.

Fraudsters do this by using information stolen through data breaches at health insurance providers, reward program providers, credit bureaus, merchant terminals, and social media sites, as well as through malware programs on personal computers, to mention just a few. Stolen personally identifiable information (PII) is combined with stolen card details, giving them enough information to create profiles used to make themselves look just like you.

Here are some reminders of to help you avoid compromising your personal information:

  • A text alert from TFB warning of suspicious activity on your card will NEVER include a link to be clicked. Never click on a link in a text message that is supposedly from us. A valid notification will provide information about the suspicious transaction and ask you to reply to the text message with answers such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘help’, or ‘stop’. It will never include a link.
  • A text alert from us will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number.
  • A phone call will only include a request for your zip code, and no other personal information, unless you confirm that a transaction is fraudulent. Only then will you be transferred to an agent who will ask questions to confirm that you are the actual cardholder before going through your transactions with you.

If at any point you are uncertain about questions being asked or the call itself, hang up and call the bank or credit card company directly. If a call is received claiming to be our call center and asking to verify transactions, you should not have to provide any information other than your zip code, and a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the transaction information provided.

  • We will NEVER ask you for your PIN or the 3-digit security code on the back of your card. Don’t give this information out to anyone, no matter what they say. Hang up and call the bank directly.

Fraudsters will often ask cardholders to verify fake transactions. When the cardholder says no, they did not perform those transactions, the fraudster then says that their card will be blocked, a new card will be issued, and that they need the card’s PIN to put it on the new card. DO NOT provide your PIN or the 3-digit CV2 code on the back of the card.   This information is not needed in order to replace a card.  Instead, it will allow a fraudster to conduct card-not-present transactions such as internet or phone purchases.

  • Regularly check your account online to see if there are any suspicious transactions that have occurred, but especially If you are unsure about a call or text message you’ve received. If anything looks amiss, call us directly for assistance.
  • If you receive a voice- or a text-message and are unsure about responding to it, call the bank directly for assistance. TFB Customer Care Center agents can be reached toll-free (800) 638-3798 Monday through Friday between 8am – 7pm and 9am – 1pm on Saturdays.

For more information regarding TFB locations and hours, visit