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EQUIFAX DATA BREACH –WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • We have learned that there are scammers out there attempting to use the Equifax Data Breach to prey on consumers. These scammers are contacting consumers in Pennsylvania both by email and phone. Beware of email and telephone scams related to the data breach. DO NOT give out personal information to those who contact you asking for information to verify accounts, and be wary of clicking on links or downloading attachments in email messages. Legitimate businesses do not ask consumers to verify account information via cold calls or emails.

    If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Equifax, STOP! Do not tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. That’s just one particular scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal information. Here are some tips for recognizing and preventing phone scams and imposter scams through emails:

    • 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.

    If you have received one of these calls or suspicious emails and gave your personal information to an imposter, you should immediately change any compromised passwords, account numbers or security questions and report it to the police. You can also contact our office at 1-800-441-2555 or email us at scam@attorneygeneral.gov. And if you’re concerned about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn how you can protect yourself.

    For more information about the Equifax breach, visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact their call center at 866-447-7559.

    What happened?

    Equifax identified a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers and almost 5.5 million PA residents. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.

    Who was affected?

    Equifax established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help U.S. consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted.

    Will Equifax contact me by phone?

    No, unless you leave a message with the call center. Be aware of scammers who represent they are from Equifax if you did not leave a message with the call center.

    What information may have been impacted?

    The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Criminals also accessed credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.

    What is Equifax doing about it?

    Equifax is offering TrustedID Premier, which includes credit file monitoring and identity theft protection product, complimentary for one year. Consumers have until Tuesday, November 21, 2017, to take advantage of the complimentary, one-year subscription to TrustedID Premier.

    Equifax is also offering free security freezes. Please make sure the consumers are signing up for the free service and not the fee-based services.  Equifax has both available.

    If I sign up for the service, do I waive my right to sue?

    No

    How do I get this service?

    You need to go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and sign up. You will be given a notification date when you may go and activate your subscription. The free year begins when you activate your subscription.

    How can I obtain more information?

    For consumers with additional questions, Equifax has established a dedicated call center. The call center is available at 866-447-7559, every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.

    Is Equifax paying for me to freeze my credit with Experian and TransUnion?

    No, as of right now, consumers must pay to freeze their credit with Experian and TransUnion.

    Click here to file a complaint regarding Equifax.