A SunTrust Bank data breach means the personal information of 1.5 million customers is at risk of falling into the wrong hands. The information, which includes client names, addresses, phone numbers and account balances, may have been stolen by a former employee, according to SunTrust. Customers should act now to protect themselves.
There have been no reports of money being stolen from accounts because of this breach. “The more sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and account numbers, don’t appear to have been taken,” says Sue Malino, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based bank.
However, SunTrust customers should be aware of the situation. If you’re a customer, here’s what you can do.
Sign up for credit monitoring
A criminal could use the stolen information in an attempt to fraudulently obtain credit. So SunTrust is offering clients free access to IDnotify, a service from the Experian credit reporting agency that monitors personal credit activity. As part of the credit monitoring service, clients will also be offered dark web monitoring (to see whether personal information is being offered for sale on illegitimate websites, for example) and identity theft insurance up to $1 million.
SunTrust customers can sign up by logging into their online banking account. Those who aren’t enrolled in online banking can call the bank’s customer service department at 800-786-8787 and select option “8” to receive enrollment instructions, Malino says. Customers should also monitor their credit activity with the other major reporting bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.
Step up your personal banking security
Consider the steps you can take personally to ensure your accounts are secure. For example, have passwords that are hard to guess, use private Wi-Fi connections for sensitive banking transactions, and sign up for bank text alerts that notify you of certain changes to your account balance.
NerdWallet’s guide on ways to boost your online banking security has more steps you can take.
If you’re a SunTrust client and you suspect there has been fraudulent activity against your account, contact the SunTrust fraud department and follow the normal reporting procedures, Malino says. In a news release, SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers assured clients there would be a remedy.
“While we have not identified significant fraudulent activity,” he says, “we will reinforce our promise to clients that they will not be held responsible for any loss on their accounts as a result.”