Everything Canadians need to know about the Capital One data breach

The recent Capital One data breach has affected about 100 million people in the United States and about 6 million people in Canada. Here's what we know so far about how this will affect Canadians.

Around six million Canadians affected and a million Social Insurance Numbers compromised

authorities have arrested the person responsible for the Capital One data breach that affected millions of Canadians. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The recent data breach that was announced by Capital One Financial Corp. has affected about 100 million people in the United States and about six million people in Canada

The hacker obtained unauthorized access to personal information of Capital One customers and those who applied for Capital One credit card products.

Capital One said in a statement that the person responsible has been arrested. The U.S. financial institution, which is one of the world's largest issuers of credit cards, said more specific details on how this will impact customers will be shared over the next few days.

What do we know so far about how this will affect Canadians?

The different kinds of information breached

Information from applications for Capital One credit card products between 2005 and early 2019 makes up the largest set of data compromised. 

Capital One said the breach includes names, addresses, postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and income.

Aside from information found on credit card application forms, some credit card customer data was also involved. This includes credit scores, limits, balances, payment history, contact information and some transaction history from the last three years. 

Approximately one million Social Insurance Numbers were compromised.

Capital One said that customer login credentials were not hacked. 

How to know if your data has been breached

Capital One said in a statement that they will notify customers if their data has been compromised, and free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance will be offered to anyone impacted by the breach.

The company did not specify how customers will be notified, but said more information will be available within the next few days. Capital One said they will not be calling anyone about the breach. If anyone does receive a call, it's a scam.

If anyone has provided personal information over the phone or clicked on fraudulent links over email or text, Capital One urges customers to call them immediately and change their online banking password.

Capital One credit cards issued in Canada

Capital One offers Canadian customers various Capital One Mastercard credit card products including a cashback card for Costco Wholesale members. 

Retailer Hudson's Bay Co. also offers a Mastercard product where the credit itself is being offered by Capital One.

"There is no indication at this time that this issue impacts any of our businesses' credit cards or card applications," HBC vice president of corporate communications Nicole Shoenberg said in an email. 

"Customers should feel comfortable shopping with us in stores and online."   

Costco Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what impact the breach has had on their networks.

How to monitor your accounts in the meantime

Capital One encourages customers to monitor their accounts for suspicious activity. If anyone notices suspicious activity on their account, Capital One says to call the number on the back of their credit card. 

Customers can also order a copy of their credit report from either Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada. Either credit bureau can place fraud alerts on credit reports for up to six years. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?