If 143 million people having their personal information compromised as a result of the Equifax data breach wasn’t enough, now financial scammers want to cash in on this financial tragedy.
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself and your personal information.
The Equifax Data Breach: What Happened?
According to Equifax, the personal financial information of 143 million Americans was compromised in a data breach from mid-May through July 2017.
Hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers.
Equifax said hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
What To Do If You Receive A Scam Call
1. If you receive a phone call from someone calling from Equifax, it is not Equifax
Equifax will not call you to verify your financial information. Hang up the phone.
2. Don’t share any personal or financial information over the phone
If you did not initiate the phone call, then do not share any personal or financial information. Hang up the phone.
3. Don’t trust caller ID from someone claiming to call from Equifax
It may seem counter-intuitive to not trust a caller who is calling from a phone number or company that you recognize. However, financial scammers can use technology to disguise their phone number to appear as a trusted source. This tactic helps legitimize the scam, and trick you into sharing personal information.
4. If you receive a robocall regarding the Equifax data breach, hang up
Don’t press “1” to speak to an operator or another number to be removed from the calling list. Unfortunately, this may lead to more robocalls. Instead, hang up.
Who To Contact If You Receive A Scam Call
How To Contact Equifax
Learn more about the Equifax data breach on Equifax‘s website, Equifaxsecurity2017.com. To determine whether your personal information was exposed, click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
For your reference, you can contact Equifax by telephone available daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. eastern time at 1-866-447-7559 (for dedicated data breach call center). You can also contact Equifax Customer Care at 1-866-640-2273.