The Federal Trade Commission is warning Americans about scammers posing as representatives from Equifax.
Credit reporting agency Equifax on Thursday announced a massive data breach that could impact up to 143 million Americans. Cybercriminals stole consumers’ Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers.
“Ring, ring. ‘This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.’ Stop. Don’t tell them anything,” Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, wrote on the department’s website. “They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.”
The FTC warns not to give out personal information, do not trust caller ID and if you get a robocall, hang up.
If you have received what you suspect is a scam phone call, you can report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is urging Mainers to take steps to protect their credit and private information after the security breach at Equifax.
Mainers can call Equifax at 800-349-9960 to freeze your credit report, Leach said. The freeze will go into effect immediately. Within two weeks, you will receive a letter with a unique PIN to unlock and relock your credit, he said.
Leach also recommends freezing credit with the two other major credit reporting agencies: Experian (888-397-3742) and Trans Union (1-888-909-8872).
You can always view your credit report for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com to check if your personal data has been affected. The agency suggests signing up for credit monitoring and identity theft protection.