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Online Threats & Other Scams

Potential Phishing Scams Related to Equifax Data Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an alert on scams related to the Equifax data breach. FTC warns consumers to be wary of calls or emails purporting to be from Equifax agents. Legitimate Equifax representatives will not contact consumers to ask for verification of their information.  Learn More about reporting fraudulent calls and protecting yourself.

Equifax Data Breach FAQs

Concerned about the Equifax breach? See our FAQ to learn more about the breach and how to protect yourself.  Equifax FAQs 09-2017

Equifax Discloses Massive Consumer Data Breach

On September 7, 2017, consumer credit reporting bureau, Equifax, announced a major data breach affecting approximately 143 million Americans. The company said that from mid-May through the end of July, criminals exploited an Equifax website vulnerability to access names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases driver’s licenses.

The company also said that about 209,000 Americans’ credit card numbers were accessed, along with credit dispute documents with personally identifying information for 182,000 consumers. 
 
Equifax has set up a website to help consumers determine if their information was breached and, if so, to sign up for credit monitoring and identity theft protection offered by TrustedID, an Equifax subsidiary. Equifax will also mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents were breached.  Learn more about the breach directly from Equifax.  Check to see if you may be affected.

Malware

Software that is intended to be harmful to a computer. Malware could be a virus, worm, Trojan horse, spyware or adware.  Some malware is designed to gather information from your computer or log your keystrokes to gain information such as usernames and passwords.

It is important to have anti-virus/anti-malware software installed on your computer and keep it up-to-date in order to detect and block these types of threats.

Pharming

A form of online fraud that redirects a website’s traffic to a bogus website. The fraudulent website will look very similar to the legitimate website.

It is important to pay attention to the website address you are on before entering any information.

Phishing

An attempt to collect personal information such as usernames and passwords by an attacker claiming to be a trustworthy source. Phishing scams are generally initiated through an official-looking email that asks the victim to urgently click on a link and provide personal information. Other phishing scams originate in an email that asks the recipient to call a phone number to verify information. Often times the caller reaches an automated voice response system that asks them to provide personal identifying information.

Legitimate banks and other financial institutions will not ask you to provide usernames and passwords.  If you have any doubts or concerns about information that is being requested, contact your financial institution.

For more information about pharming or phishing, please visit http://www.bos.frb.org/consumer/phishpharm/index.htm.

Vishing

Similar to Phishing, but conducted via telephone rather than through email.  The caller will claim to be from a trustworthy source and attempt to gain personal information.

Social Engineering

A way of manipulating people to share their personal information.  This may be someone posing as a trusted source or it may be someone who uses intimidation or fear to gain information. 

For additional information on common scams, please visit http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud.