A recent security breach at Epsilon, a marketing and advertising company in Dallas, has web-consumers leery of opening emails. After consumer names and email addresses were leaked over the weekend, consumers can expect fraudulent email offers to follow.
List of Companies Affected
The list of Epsilon clients included in the email breach is growing. Current banking institutions and retailers affected by the leak include JP Morgan Chase & Co., Kroger Co., Capitol One, Marriott Rewards, Verizon, Kraft, Hilton Hotels, AstraZeneca, McKinsey Quarterly, US Bank, Citi Bank, Walgreens, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Brookstone, The College Board and Home Shopping Network according to reports from PCWorld and Reuters.
Epsilon, a subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems Corp., sends over 40 billion emails per year on behalf of 2,500 clients. Many of the clients have started contacting their customers with information about the security of their accounts.
While the email breach is investigated, shop online by going directly to the retailer's website. Do not use click-through links placed in emails, open attachments, respond to email-only offers or provide personal information such as social security number, login data or passwords from an email request.
Since the email breach included both names and email addressees, messages that include a consumer's name should may appear authentic, but could indeed be a phishing scam.
Feeling Like a Victim
Customers who trusted Epsilon clients with their personal data have been betrayed. Will this major security hack make you think twice about signing up for email offers or giving your personal details to online retailers? Since Internet purchasing almost always requires an email address, will you turn to brick-and-mortar stores to preserve your identity due to the recent email breach?
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