AUGUSTA — As if the massive hack of Equifax isn’t enough, crooks are now trying to trick consumers into thinking their calls or emails are from Equifax.
Emails and phone calls claiming to be from Equifax are going out to consumers, but they are not Equifax, said David Leach of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.
The emails ask consumers “to click on this link,” Leach said. “When one clicks on the link it can put malware on whatever into your computer” allowing them to access your information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, calls to consumers are going out saying, “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.” Don’t tell them anything, “they’re not from Equifax,” the FTC is warning. “It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.” Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal information.
Tips from the FTC to recognize and prevent scams include:
• Don’t give personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call.
• Don’t trust caller ID; scammers can spoof their numbers to make it look like they’re someone they’re not.
• If you get a robocall, hang up; don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator, or any key.
If you’ve received a call you think is fake, report it to the FTC. If you gave your personal information to an imposter, change any compromised passwords, account numbers or security questions.
To learn more about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov.