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Equifax Isn’t Calling You About the Breach, but Guess What? Scammers Are
By now, you know all about the giant Equifax cybersecurity breach. With 143 million Americans affected by the snafu, it may have you in a panic. What do you do? Who do you talk to?
Unfortunately, situations like this make easy pickings for scammers. The Federal Trade Commission has posted a consumer fraud alert informing us of a new phone scam from people pretending to represent Equifax.
Sigh. Kick us when we’re down.
How the Equifax Phone Scam Works
It seems innocent enough. Heck, you may even think it’s helpful. Your phone rings, and the person on the line says they are from Equifax and need to verify your account information to make sure the data breach didn’t put you in harm’s way.
No, not great. It’s a scam.
These calls are from scam artists trying to capitalize on the Equifax panic by suckering people into giving up their personal information. In other words, even if Equifax didn’t leak your info, you have a chance to leak it all by yourself.
What to Do if You Receive a Scam Call
Hang up. Yeah. It’s that simple.
Do not give them any personal information. Do not hit any buttons to try to talk to someone and scold them. Don’t even trust your caller ID. With today’s technology, bad guys can look legit even when they aren’t.
So yeah, hang up.
Then report the call to the FTC so it can get closer to catching these scammers.
Equifax will not call you to verify your information. In fact, be wary of any phone calls or emails you receive asking you to verify account information from any company. Your personal information is important, so protect it by being cautious at all times. The bad guys are winning enough these days.
If, by chance, you recognized the scam too late and gave away some information, take action now. Change your passwords, change those security questions and even change account numbers, if possible. The FTC has information on what to do if your identity is stolen.
Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.