How to protect yourself from credit fraud and identity theft

More than one-hundred million people may have had their personal information compromised after a hacker gained access to a major credit card company.

Capital one said the hack happened in March and it includes credit card applications as far back as 2005.

According to Capital One, a woman gained access to one of the company's servers and shared social security number and bank account numbers of Capital One customers.

Capital One says it has fixed the vulnerability, but is still investigating.

This data breach come on the heels of credit reporting agency, Equifax, reaching a settlement with the F.T.C. after a breach of their own in 2017.

According to Breck Miller of Lutheran Social Services, the best way to stay protected against credit fraud and identity theft is to freeze you credit.

"That is free for anyone to do, and what that means is nobody can take out a new credit in your name," said Breck.

If you can't freeze your account at the moment, place a fraud alert on it.

You are also encouraged to keep an eye on your credit card statements and credit report.

Make sure to look at the full report, verify that all the purchases were made by you and all the lines of credit were opened by you.

Scammers have already started trying to take advantage of data breaches through a process called "phishing."

"If you get an email from an organization with a link on it, don't click it. If you get an email from your bank that says to click on something, don't do it... when those emails come to you the chances of them being spam or phishing is nearly 100%," Jessie Schmidt, Director of the South Dakota Better Business Bureau, said.

If you have fallen victim to credit card fraud or identity theft, there is still hope.

"Be calm and go through the process, it exists to help you. We just don't want a knee-jerk reaction to close everything up immediately because it may actually cause more damage than we need to clean this up," said Miller.

Both Equifax and Capital One are offering free credit card monitoring and identity protection for those affected by the data breaches.