We're all attempting to return to some sense of normalcy in the wake of Hurricane Irma, so the last thing I'm sure ANY of us want to deal with is scammers.
You know what I mean -- those who say they want to help you at your home.
But, they aren't the only scammers to be weary of.
You've likely heard about the massive Equifax breach last week, but probably didn't prioritize it given the clear and present issue of Irma.
Let's be real. When you don't have power ,how much does other stuff really seem to matter?
But this Equifax issue does matter to about half of all adults in the US. Here's what you need to know right now:
- 143 million adults were personally compromised via birth dates, SSNs and license/ID info exposed
- 182 million adults had other personal information exposed
- 209 million credit card numbers were exposed
- The theft of information occurred between May 13th and July 30th
Given that Equifax is one of the big three credit rating agencies (along with Experian and TransUnion), it's virtually a given that they have your info on file.
For businesses that use additional Equifax services, the damage could be even more significant (as business and vendor records could also be compromised).
So what should you do?
First, there's a chance that stolen info has already been attempted to be used. Here's the website to access information directly from Equifax: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
Once you've ID'd that you were potentially compromised, sign up for the free ID theft protection service offered by Equifax.
They're using Trusted ID (which is a reputable service I used about a decade ago and is my third favored choice for ID theft protection).
Next review all personal information, transactions, credit and debit card activity and stay on it for the foreseeable.