What You Should Know About the Capital One Hack Affecting 100 Million People

Poike/iStock via Getty Images
Poike/iStock via Getty Images

What’s in your wallet? Possibly a compromised credit profile. Capital One announced Monday that more than 100 million people in the U.S. and 6 million in Canada have been affected by a data hack that’s left their personal and financial information vulnerable.

According to MarketWatch, the hackers were able to secure credit scores, ZIP codes, email addresses, and birth dates of Capital One card members and applicants. Worse, roughly 140,000 Social Security numbers were nabbed. So were about 80,000 bank account numbers.

The company acted in concert with the FBI to investigate the hack, which Capital One says it first discovered on July 19. A suspect, Paige A. Thompson, was arrested in Seattle and charged with one count of computer fraud and abuse. At this point, Capital One has no indication the data has been used for fraudulent purposes, but there’s no way of knowing if that could change.

The company intends to reach out to cardholders affected by the crime to notify them of the hack and to offer two years of free credit monitoring, which has become the standard gratuity for companies trying to address the shaken faith of consumers. Recently, Equifax agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would give consumers affected by their 2017 hack free credit monitoring or up to $125, with the option of claiming another $250 to $500 for time spent resolving fraud issues or identity theft as a result of compromised personal data.

If you’re concerned your information might be used for identity theft, it’s best to monitor your credit reports or cards for suspicious activity. If your bank account was compromised, notify your banking institution. You can also opt to “freeze” your credit profiles from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Freezing the reports prevents any business from checking them and makes opening new accounts impossible. If you want to open an account or take out a loan, however, you’ll need to unfreeze the reports.

[h/t MarketWatch]

A MoviePass Security Gaffe Leaves Tens of Thousands of Accounts Exposed

zhuzhu/iStock via Getty Images
zhuzhu/iStock via Getty Images

When MoviePass launched a $9.95 subscription service in 2017, it was heralded as nothing less than a revolution in the moviegoing experience. The monthly fee allowed once-daily admission to first-run theatrical films at all of the major chains. Roughly 1 million people signed up for the app in the first four months alone. But AMC and other exhibitors resisted the business plan, leading to dwindling benefits and bad press.

Now, MoviePass is dealing with another issue: Leaving the customer card numbers of at least 58,000 users, plus many credit card numbers, easily accessible on a server.

According to TechCrunch, the data was first discovered by Dubai-based security firm SpiderSilk and security researcher Mossab Hussein. The cards were left unencrypted and available to review on the server without the need for a password. MoviePass cards are issued by Mastercard and operate like conventional debit cards, with pre-loaded balances that pay the full admission price at theater chains. The unsecured server also had conventional credit card information for customers that are used to pay the MoviePass subscription. These records included billing addresses. TechCrunch stated that among the records they reviewed, some contained enough information to make fraudulent purchases.

The database was taken offline this week, but it’s believed it had been open and accessible for months. Security researcher Nitish Shah said he discovered the database earlier in the year, wrote MoviePass to warn them, but received no reply. In a statement, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the company was looking into it and would notify affected customers. In the interim, it's probably wise for MoviePass subscribers to monitor affiliated credit cards for any suspicious charges.

[h/t Gizmodo]

If You Pay for Netflix or Hulu Through iTunes, You Could Be Saving 15 Percent Each Month

KellyISP/iStock via Getty Images
KellyISP/iStock via Getty Images

For prices ranging from $8.99 to $15.99 a month, streaming services like Netflix offer some of the best value in entertainment. But a growing number of platforms—including Amazon Prime, Hulu, and forthcoming services from Disney and Apple—means that viewers might be looking to cut costs. Fortunately, there’s a way to do that that requires only minimal effort. Is there a catch? Naturally. We’ll explain.

In a post for MoneyTalksNews, writer Donna Freedman points out that warehouse chains like Costco offer gift cards for iTunes at a 15 percent discount. A $100 card might cost just $85, for example. You can then use the card to pay for your Netflix or Hulu subscription if you currently pay for the service through iTunes.

Here’s the first of two wrinkles: Costco runs these deals only periodically, so you’ll have to catch the cards—which are usually limited to two per customer—during their window of availability. Second, Netflix is no longer using iTunes as a pay portal for new members. Members who use iTunes will be redirected toward Netflix’s own billing interface. That’s because Netflix was apparently tired of giving Apple a cut of membership revenue. However, existing Netflix members who are still tied into iTunes billing prior to the switch in late 2018 are able to apply the iTunes cards as payment. By purchasing them from a warehouse club, they’ll be able to save the 15 percent. So can new or existing Hulu members, who can opt to subscribe via iTunes.

Not a Costco member? There’s a workaround for that, too. Have a friend or relative purchase a Costco Cash Card, which can be used by non-members but tacks on a 5 percent surcharge, reducing the iTunes savings to 10 percent. Alternately, just have them buy the iTunes card on your behalf.

Does this seem like a lot of effort for minimal savings? For some people, it might. But if your streaming platforms are beginning to add up, knocking the price down by 15 percent might be worth the hustle.

[h/t MoneyTalksNews]

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