Recently, Epsilon, a marketing firm hired by many large corporations to maintain permission-based email marketing lists, had a breach in security resulting in the disclosure of a number of consumers’ names and email addresses. According to Epsilon, no other personal information was leaked.
The information that was leaked exposes customers of the grocery chain The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Marriott Rewards, Amazon, McKinsey Quarterly, US Bank, Citibank, Brookstone, Walgreens, the Home Shopping Network, as well as a large number of other companies, to possible email phishing campaigns. Phishing is a practice in which thieves attempt to steal personal information from consumers by sending emails designed to mislead the consumer into believing that the email is from a company with whom the customer does business.
The best way for consumers to protect themselves is to follow the same warnings that are recommended if you receive any email asking for account information, including passwords or login names. No legitimate company will email you and ask for any account information. They already have that information and do not need to confirm it.
Do not click on any link in the email you receive, regardless of how authentic the email seems. Phishing thieves are extremely good at disguising the real link names and other information which would expose the scam. If you feel the need to contact the bank or company, close the email, close your browser, then search for the company’s authentic website for information.
Questions regarding this matter can be addressed to the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 775-684-1169.