Equifax data breach: be aware of follow up phone scams
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Equifax data breach: be aware of follow up
phone scams

In light of the data breach at Equifax, and unconscionable actions by certain executives, residents are especially encouraged to learn more about identity theft and how best to protect their information from fraudulent use.

Most immediately, please be aware of phone scams from individuals identifying themselves as Equifax representatives who seek to verify your personal information.

This phone call is a scam! The company will NOT call you first, even if you are one of the millions of affected consumers.

Here are best practice guidelines to follow not only in this matter but also to guard against scams and identify theft in general:

• Do not provide personal information, unless you have initiated the contact and you know the phone number is legitimate.
• Be cautious about caller ID; scammers take advantage of certain technology to spoof numbers to make them appear originating from certain organizations, even when in fact they are not.
• Hang up on robocalls; do not even “Press 1” to speak to a live person or to have your number removed, supposedly, from their list.

Over the longer term, citizens are urged to monitor in proactive fashion their credit reports and financial account statements, such as credit cards and utilities. Report suspected fraudulent activity to the state Attorney General’s office via the scam hotlines: 1-800-441-2555 or atscams@attorneygeneral.gov.

I do hope this reminder is helpful. Like you, I am absolutely outraged by this incident. The matter also serves as yet another stark reminder of the imperative need to remain vigilant with respect to monitoring our financial accounts and activities. Most frustratingly, much of the potential for comprised information and identify theft is out of our direct control as individual consumers, however we certainly should of course strive to control what aspects we can.
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