Equifax Data Breach: Phone Scams are the Next Risk

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Release Date:  September 14, 2017

Media Contact:  Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – In the aftermath of the recent Equifax data breach, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks Wisconsin residents to be on the lookout for unsolicited calls requesting sensitive personal or financial information.

An event of this scale is sure to bring scammers out of the woodwork, and one of the potential risks at this point is con artists preying on consumers through misinformation. Neither Equifax nor any bank will call you and request your Social Security number or other sensitive details. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone who claims that they can verify whether your information was affected in the breach or that they provide services to affected consumers, hang up the phone. Do not engage with the caller and do not provide any information.

Be wary of a call from someone claiming to be from your lending institution. Hang up and call the institution back at a number listed in the phone book, in one of your statements, or on the business’s website. Never return a call on the number provided to you in an unsolicited call, and do not trust that the information on your caller ID is accurate.

If you wish to find out if your information was affected in the data breach, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Equifax has also set up a call center to address consumer questions. The call center can be reached at 866-447-7559 from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, Central Time, seven days a week. Due to high call volumes, Equifax suggests trying to call after 4:00 p.m.

If your information was impacted, download a copy of DATCP's "Data Breach: What to do if it happens to you" fact sheet, pull a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and place a fraud alert on your credit record. More information about the situation is available on our data breach page or in our recent Consumer Alert.

For additional information, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at http://datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.

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