As if credit card scammers weren’t annoying enough, for those of you who have been very diligent about keeping your information safe, it may have not cut it this time around.
If you’ve had a credit report, specifically with Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, you could be one of the 145 million American consumers who’ve had your personal information exposed due to a data breach.
Though not initially carried out over the phone, the massive Equifax data breach resulted in fraudulent calls asking consumers to verify Equifax account information.
According to the FTC, the breach lasted from mid-May through July, allowing hackers to access names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses and even driver’s license numbers. The breach also resulted in stolen credit card numbers from 209,000 people and personal information from 182,000 people.
Here are three tips the FTC advises consumers to be aware of in the case they are targeted this this or any other type of phone scam:
- Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know is correct.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a particular company, even when they’re not.
- If you get a robocall, hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other key to take your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.