By Joseph Pisani
The Associated Press
JPMorgan Chase revealed this week that 76 million households were affected by a cyberattack against the bank this summer.
Read about it here: http://hosted2.ap.org/WAPAN/APBusinessNews/Article_2014-10-03-US–JPMorgan-Data%20Breach/id-3b3cf47544504a2b83de1effce3d75bf
The nation’s largest bank [which has Chase Bank branches in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend] said there is no evidence that hackers stole account numbers, passwords, birth dates or Social Security numbers. But the hackers were able to get access to customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
That’s still a problem. Hackers will likely sell that information on the black market, said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. Then scammers will try to use the data to trick you into giving up more personal information so they can steal your money or open new credit card accounts in your name.
Here are four things Chase customers need to watch out for:
1. Don’t click on email links.
After big data breaches, scammers start sending out emails. The emails may mention Chase, or past breaches.
Never click on any links. Malware could be downloaded to your computer and steal account passwords and other information, Litan says.
2. Watch the mailbox, too.
Scammers could also send letters. Some might claim you’ve won a tablet, vacation or other prize and give you a phone number to call. Don’t do it. It’s probably a way to get more personal information from you.
3. Hang up the phone and ignore texts.
Since phone numbers of Chase customers were stolen, be wary of calls asking for account numbers or other information.
Crooks are sending texts now too, so don’t click any links from numbers you don’t know.
“You can’t trust any communications anymore,” Litan said.
4. Don’t overlook small charges.
Crooks will charge smaller amounts to your credit card, usually less than $10, to see if you notice, then charge a bigger amount later.
It’s best to check online statements for suspicious activity once a week.
But if you don’t have time for that, scan statements every month.“It’s a pain in the neck,” said Litan, “but that’s what you have to do.”