Not-so-trusted Third Parties: Why You’ve Been Getting “Your Email Was Leaked” Notices

GeekMom Technology

Got a kid taking the SAT or AP exams? It’s time to have a little talk about how to avoid phishing schemes–their email addresses may have been lost to spammers last week. Epsilon, one of the world’s largest such companies, had their databases breached.

You may have noticed something was up this weekend when you got several emails from companies saying your name and email addresses had been leaked, or that their database had been breached. It’s because those companies used Epsilon, a third-party company for their email marketing. You probably don’t know the name Epsilon, but you know them in the context of “we may share your email address with trusted third parties” when you sign up for mailing lists.

Based on Epsilon’s estimate that 2% of their clients were affected, there are probably about 50 affected. They’re not naming the affected clients, though. I’ve been compiling a list based on news reports and complaints on Twitter. So far the affected companies I’ve seen reports of are:

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • AbeBooks
  • Air Miles
  • American Express
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Barclays Bank Delaware
  • Beachbody
  • Bebe
  • Benefit Cosmetics
  • Best Buy
  • Borders
  • Brookstone
  • Capital One
  • Charter Communications
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • City Market
  • The College Board
  • Dillons
  • Disney Destinations
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Ethan Allen
  • Food4Less
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Hilton Hhonors
  • Home Depot
  • Home Shopping Network (HSN)
  • Intuit
  • Jay C
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • King Soopers
  • Kroger
  • LaCoste
  • LL Bean Visa Card
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Marriott Rewards
  • McKinsey Quarterly
  • Meijer
  • New York & Company
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • Robert Half Technologies
  • Smith Brands
  • Target
  • TD Ameritrade
  • TigerDirect
  • TiVo
  • US Bank
  • Verizon
  • Visa
  • Walgreens

If your kids are old enough to have their own email addresses, and you haven’t talked about email safety yet, this is a good time. And an excellent opportunity to talk about reading privacy policies and making choices about your email address. Although in this case, I suspect few people would have hesitated to join these lists.

***Edit 4/6 If you’re looking for a complete list of affected companies, please now refer to

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