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Q: I’m a Citi card owner and I’m worried that my account information was hacked in the recent security breach. How do I know if my account was illegally accessed?
A: To give some brief background, Citi’s servers were hacked in mid May. Like Sony, whose PlayStation Network was hacked, Citi did not disclose the information right away, which caused some outrage and criticism. According to Sony, about 1% of its users’ account information was accessed, which led analysts to believe initially that about 200,000 accounts were hacked. Citi later divulged that about 360,000 were hacked, but many of these included redundant information or accounts that were already closed.
Unlike with the PlayStation Network attack, Citi seemed to know exactly which accounts were breached, and has announced that they will send new cards to those 217,000 members who were affected. If you have a Citi credit card (debit cards were not affected), you shouldn’t worry. Citi said that only names, account numbers, and some contact information such as email addresses was disclosed, and the breached info didn’t include social security numbers.
If you’re worried that your account may have been hacked, you don’t have to cancel your card or email account. If your account was hacked, you will be notified and will receive a new card in the mail soon (in fact, many users have already received their new cards). There will also be a notification as soon as you log into your online account. If you don’t receive a notification, you are one of the 99% of Citi’s unaffected cardmembers. If a message pops up when you log in, continue to use your card until the new one arrives in the mail, and be careful about opening any suspicious-looking emails.