Scam Of The Week: Equifax Data Breach
Cyber criminals have stolen 143 million credit records in the recent hacking scandal at big-three credit bureau, Equifax. At this point you have to assume that the bad guys have highly personal information that they can use to trick you. You need to watch out for the following things:
- Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised.
- Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information.
- Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union.
- Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen.
Here are five things you can do to prevent identity theft:
- First, sign up for credit monitoring (there are many companies providing that service including Equifax but we cannot recommend that).
- Next freeze your credit files at the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember that generally it is not possible to sign up for credit monitoring services after a freeze is in place. Advice for how to file a freeze is available here on a state-by-state basis: http://consumersunion.org/research/security-freeze/.
- Check your credit reports via the free annualcreditreport.com.
- Check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity.
Always remember: “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Think Before You Click!
Stop Look Think – Don’t be fooled.
If you have questions, contact the I.T. department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-822-7217.