ATLANTA - The massive Equifax breach impacts nearly half of the country's personal data. Now it's time to brace yourself for round two.
The first hit was finding out that our personal identifying information held by Atlanta-base Equifax had been hacked. The credit reporting agency revealed that a hacker got a lot of our info - names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver's license numbers. Those aren't just puzzle pieces. That's your whole personal picture.
Now that your door of vulnerability is open, scammers are going to try to walk in. It'll be through calls and emails that claim to be helping Equifax or that they are Equifax. Maybe their phishing expedition means they'll claim they're with your credit card company or your bank.
Here's how you spot a scam. This comes straight from the Federal Trade Commission. Don't respond to any emails about you being scammed from anyone - not even friends. Their email could be spoofed and spamming everyone. You get answers by doing your own typing. Meaning, you get an email and you're asked to click a link or call a number. Go to your preferred search engine and type in the address yourself. Search the number to see if it's legit or connected to a scam. If you do take a scammer call, likely there will be pressure to "act now" by giving up your personal information. Don't do it. Hang up. And it's time to brush up on two-step authentication.
This means supporting your password with more information like a code sent to your phone, or an extra PIN. I know I've done it for email accounts. I type in my password then I get a code on my phone which I type in then I can access my account. Again, it's called two-factor authentication.