Phishing scams on the rise after Equifax data breach

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB) – Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about scammers attempting to steal consumer information using fake Equifax claims webpages.

Fraudsters are sending phishing emails that impersonate Equifax encouraging consumers to enter personal information on a webpage that looks like the Equifax claims page.

Online bad guys are trying to make a bad situation worse for millions of Americans whose personal information was exposed in the Equifax data breach. Scammers have set up fake claims sites and are sending phishing emails to drive consumers to their sites in an attempt to exploit victims of the Equifax data breach. This is a truly despicable scam. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. To file a claim, go directly to the Equifax claim page.

Attorney General Ashley Moody

In July, Attorney General Moody, along with 49 other attorneys general, announced an historic $600 million settlement with Equifax over failed security measures in a massive data breach that affected millions of Floridians. The agreement includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, a $175 million payment to the states and injunctive relief.

The official website to file a claim is EquifaxBreachSettlement.com, and the claims process is free. The deadline to object to, comment on or to be excluded from the settlement is November 19, 2019, while the deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020.

Here are some general tips for avoiding phishing scams:

  • Do not open emails or attachments from an unfamiliar sender; 
  • Hover over links in emails to see where the link leads and determine if it is a known and trusted web address;
  • Study the message carefully for any spelling or grammar issues;
  • Verify the legitimacy of the message with its source. Contact the institution at the web address or phone number listed on a bill or statement; and 
  • Notify the institution of any phishing attempts made in its name; it may wish to send an alert or warning to its customers.

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