As you’ve probably heard by now, credit reporting giant Equifax has been hacked in what is being described as the largest security breach in history.
According to the company, the breach may have affected up to 143 million Americans. That’s almost half of the entire U.S. population.
And when you consider that millions of our fellow citizens are children who aren’t even in Equifax’s system, you can see that the odds are quite high that you and I are among those affected.
The data stolen is very sensitive as it includes the full names and social security numbers of all the consumers. And on top of that, the hackers likely managed to steal over 200 million credit card numbers belonging to the victims.
Unfortunately, Equifax has done a very poor job at providing answers to those wanting to find out if they were impacted by the breach.
The dedicated hack-info phone number they set up (866-447-7559) apparently isn’t much help because the reps answering the phone are telling many callers that they’re unsure whether they were affected or not.
Even worse, the website Equifax set up to allow people to check online to see if they were affected by the breach has been blocked by Google Chrome for being a suspected phishing site.
And it’s easy to see why since the domain name Equifax chose for the site is a knockoff of Equifax’s main site AND the site asks for your name and the last 6 digits of your social security number – exactly the type of information we are constantly warned not to provide on an unfamiliar website.
Just so you’ll know, the website they set up is equifaxsecurity2017.com. (The website is actually legit, but notice that the domain name makes it appear to be a knock-off phishing website.)
Equifax should have placed this tool on their own website instead of creating a new fake-looking site. And at the very least they should have people answering their phones who know what’s going on and are able to provide consumers with real answers.
Bottom line: As with all hacks resulting in the theft of sensitive personal and financial information, it’s recommended that you keep a close watch on your credit report for unusual activity (you might want to choose a company besides Equifax to do that by the way).
It might also be a good idea to ask your credit card company to cancel your card and issue you a new one just to be safe.
Bonus tip: Click here to read about some of the other scams you need to watch out for.
If you think your friends would like this post, I’d love you to share it! Thanks a bunch!