Scam alert: The Equifax Scam and Secure Your Account Scam

Staff Writer

If it seems like hackers come up with a new scam every day, that’s because they do.

The Equifax Scam

With a massive data breach exposing the personal info of over 180,000 Americans, scammers have used this issue to try and con people out of giving up their financial information or other information.

First and foremost, if anyone calls on the phone pretending to be from Equifax or claiming to be an official involved with the data breach, this is a scam. Equifax is contacting a small number of Americans who’ve had their credit card information compromised, but this is being done through mail and the majority of customers will not be contacted by Equifax at all.

Those worried about their personal information will have to contact Equifax on their own at or at 1-866-447-7559.

Those who wish to report scams may contact the Federal Trade Commission at, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has a phone number for questions at (855) 411-2372.

The Secure Your Account Scam

With the public growing increasingly wary, hackers have to spend time coming up with different and convincing ways to scam people or gain access to their passwords.

One phishing scheme that’s recently started popping up in Hot Spring County is the “Secure Account” scam. With this scam, the criminals send emails to various people or organizations posing as customer support, possibly from AT&T, an email account, Facebook or any other service that requires the intended target to have a username and password. The emails may claim that someone has logged in to your account or that the account has detected suspicious activity. The emails usually contain a link to “Secure your account” or “verify your information.”

These links take the intended victim to a fraudulent website (posing as Facebook, Gmail or whichever site the scammers choose) and give an option to input information. This may go so far as to ask for social security numbers and bank cards, or may simply ask for a username and password and leave it at that. Once this information is entered, the scammers or hackers now have that information. The hackers then have the ability to hack the targets account and can often use that information to hack other accounts owned by the victim, including bank accounts.

This is one reason why users should have different passwords for separate accounts. People often use the same username and/or password for all accounts, making it very easy to hack all of them once the hacker figures out the password of just one of those accounts.

Those who’ve fallen victim to this scam should immediately change all of their passwords (select the option to log out on all computers) and contact their banks if they fear their accounts have been compromised.