Contributed by: Jon Freeman

After the Equifax Data Breach last month many consumers are concerned that their personal information may have been compromised in the data breach, and that compromised information could be used to steal their identity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a warning to consumers urging people to be aware of Equifax related scams. Here is one example where criminals are using a simple phone scam to try and get folks to give out personal information.

According to the FTC this scam goes something like this:

1. Ring, ring.
2. You: “Hello?”
3. Person on the other end: “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.”
4. At this point, you should stop. Don’t tell them anything. You should hang up. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.

The FTC has provided the following tips on how to spot and avoid these types of phone scams:

1. Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s a phone number you know is correct.
2. 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.
3. 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.

For more information about managing your finances visit the library’s Personal Finance GCPL Guide.