Like Clockwork, Here's the Equifax Scam
Where goes any hack or data breach, so comes the scam. Worried your personal information is in the hands of criminals? Give us, who are definitely not criminals, your personal information and we'll check and make sure to keep you safe. The appeal is simple, insidious, and predictable.
So it's not surprising that, following on the heels of what might be the most damaging data breach in history, here comes the Equifax scam.
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The worst part of the Equifax hack is the amount of personal data exposed -- as a credit reporting agency, Equifax had everything: full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even some driver license numbers. All the things a company needs to check your credit score are the same things a criminal can use to steal your identity.
And now the Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers that someone impersonating an Equifax employee may be calling, asking for that same information, ostensibly to verify whether your data was exposed. Don't make a potentially bad situation even worse by volunteering personal information over the phone.
The FTC has some tips for consumers contacted by someone saying they're from Equifax:
- 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.
And if you've already gotten one of these suspicious calls, report it to the FTC.
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