With nearly 143 million Americans affected by last week’s Equifax cybersecurity breach, people are feeling more vulnerable than ever—and scammers are taking advantage.
Forbes and the Federal Trade Commission warn consumers to beware of attacks like phishing and phone scams following Equifax’s data breach. The scammers will use the data breach as a way to trick you into handing over your personal information or sell you fictitious identity theft protection services—whether your personal information was compromised in the breach or not.
Several current phishing and phone scams related to the Equifax breach include:
- Phishing emails or phone scams that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information.
- Phishing emails or phone scams that claim to be from Equifax, where you can check if your data was compromised.
What to do
Do not provide any personal information
“If you receive a phone call or email claiming any of the above, do not provide your personal information over the phone or online. Hang up or delete the email,” says Jill Gogel, fraud services manager at Dupaco Community Credit Union’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch in Dubuque, Iowa.
Regardless if the phone call or email was legitimate or a scam, take action to monitor your financial accounts and credit report to keep an eye out for fraud.
Monitor your accounts regularly
Through Shine Online Banking, monitor your transactions every day, and set up free eNotifiers to alert you by text and/or e-mail of activity on your accounts. If there indeed has been fraudulent activity, you’ll be the first to know.
Monitor your credit report
Through Bright Track inside Shine Online Banking, you can access your full credit report and your credit score as often as you wish. Access to Bright Track has been and will remain a free benefit of Dupaco membership. Regularly monitor your credit report to keep an eye out for any fraudulent activity. Dupaco advises reviewing your credit report every month.
Insure your good name
Many people affected by the breach may not have experienced any signs of fraud—yet—and scammers are exploiting that uncertainty.
Following the Equifax breach, scammers may try to sell you their 'identity theft protection' services. Unfortunately, no service can fully prevent or protect you from identity theft or fraud.
However, there are ways you can minimize your risk as well as services available to help you recover after you have experienced fraud.
“Identity theft restoration coverage is like any other kind of insurance in that although it can’t prevent fraud from happening, it may detect the fraud early and help you to restore your identity,” says Gogel.
Dupaco’s Family ID Restoration, provided by your credit union, covers you and your family if you should become the victim of identity theft at just $1.95 per month. To enroll in this service, contact Dupaco at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-373-7600, ext. 0.
If you’ve become a victim of fraud
Should you become a victim to fraud or see suspicious activity on your account, Dupaco is here to help. Call Dupaco at 563-557-7600 / 800-373-7600 immediately if you suspect you are a victim of fraud.