Citi says data breach resulted in major losses

Citi says data breach resulted in major losses Though it initially reassured customers that their credit card accounts would not be affected by a major data breach, one of the nation's top lenders recently told federal lawmakers that it actually suffered millions of dollars worth of losses.

Citi revealed that the hacking effort that exposed more than 360,000 of its North American credit card customers to identity theft resulted in more than $2.7 million in fraudulent credit card debt, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. In all, crooks were able to rip off more than 3,400 accounts, an average loss of $794 per customer.

This comes after the company originally told borrowers that their accounts were unlikely to be accessed by the hackers, because they did not gain any critical information such as consumers' Social Security numbers, dates of birth or credit card expiration dates and security codes, the report said. However, that information could have been gleaned in phishing attacks, as the hackers did gain access to customer email addresses.

Consumers who are working to reduce debt should diligently check their monthly credit card statements to find any potential signs of criminals using their information to make purchases in order to avoid credit card debt problems.