Be on Alert for Scams in the Wake of the Equifax Data Breach
Scammers claim to be Equifax calling to verify account information in the wake of the breach
Consumers across the country are urged to be on alert for scams that are popping up following the recent Equifax data breach—which exposed sensitive personal information of 143 million American consumers.
The breach lasted from mid-May through July of this year. The hackers accessed people's names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people.
Not Equifax representatives
Now, scammers are exploiting the Equifax breach in an attempt to steal from unsuspecting consumers. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), callers claim to be Equifax calling to verify account information in the wake of the breach—or some other similar ploy.
In reality, the con artist is simply trying to trick you into giving them sensitive personal information that could then be used to steal your identity.
Remember, the real Equifax will NOT call you out of the blue. Anyone claiming such an affiliation is more than likely up to no good.
recognizing and preventing phone and imposter scams
Keep the following things in mind to avoid becoming a scam victim:
Don't give personal information. Don't provide any personal or financial information unless you've initiated the call and it's to a phone number you know is correct.
Don't trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a particular company, even when they're not.
If you get a robocall, HANG UP. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other key to take your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
If you've already received a call that you think is fake, report it to the FTC.
If you gave your personal information to an imposter, it's time to change any compromised passwords, account numbers or security questions. And if you're concerned about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn how you can protect yourself.