Thousands Exposed As Data Breach Grows

Just keep in mind that no bank will ever e-mail you to let you know of a problem with your account and any e-mail that asks for personal information is an attempt to defraud you.

The names and e-mails of customers of Citigroup and other large U.S. companies, as well as College Board students, were exposed in a massive data breach after a computer hacker penetrated online marketer Epsilon. In what could be one of the biggest breaches in U.S. history, several companies that do business with Epsilon came forward over the weekend to warn customers some of their electronic information could have been exposed. Walgreen, TiVo, Capital One and HSN all added their names to the list of targets that also includes some of the nation’s largest banks. The names and electronic contacts of some students affiliated with the U.S.-based College Board – which represents some 5,900 colleges, universities and schools – were also potentially compromised. No personal financial information such as credit cards or social security numbers appeared to be exposed, according to the statements and e-mails to customers. Epsilon said that a person outside the company hacked into some of its clients’ customer files. The vendor sends more than 40 billion e-mail ads and offers annually, usually to people who register for a company’s website or who give their e-mail addresses while shopping.