By now everyone knows about the Equifax data breach, including scammers who will compound the problem with phony email solutions. Beware of the phishing emails. By now everyone knows about the Equifax data breach, including scammers who will compound the problem with phony email solutions. Beware of the phishing emails.
Here is an example that I received: Αffесtеd bу thе Εquіfаx brеасh? Ηеlp prоtесt уоur іdеntіtу nоw.
It came from LifeLock <info @tigempl.us> which is certainly not a LifeLock email address. And if you place your cursor over the body of the email (do NOT press your Enter Key) you will see you will be directed to a website that has nothing to do with LifeLock. This is the scammer website to steal your identity.
The important thing to understand with the Equifax data breach is that Equifax did not patch a third party application that they were supposed to, and criminal hackers obtained access to the records of 143 million people. The vast majority were Americans, and while the records from people in other countries were also exposed, it is so much smaller.
The point is YOU need to protect yourself and assume your records have been compromised. The hacker criminals got access to vital information like names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and in some cases, driver’s license IDs and credit card numbers.
What can the criminals do with that information?
How about this:
- Open financial accounts
- Apply for credit cards, mortgages, and other financial services
- Get medical care at your expense
- File for a tax refund in your name
- Get a job in your name and let you pay the taxes (I cannot believe a criminal would want a job unless there is more they can steal… just saying.)
Bottom line: Complete Identity Theft.
What should you do?
Put a credit freeze on your credit reports to prevent anyone from doing the above. You can release the credit freeze if you apply for a loan because you will have a 10 digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use, and it should be never be giving to anyone else.
Here is where to go to do that: Equifax: (800) 685-1111 or https://www.freeze.equifax.com/
I suggest doing it online as I did. I seriously doubt Equifax is prepared to accept 100 million new phone calls.
This is one of the best explanations on how it happened: