Spoofing is a technique where scammers “spoof” or falsify their identifying information to make you think it is coming from a trusted source. More advanced scammers can even make their caller ID show up on your phone as a known contact, like a family member. Other common techniques involve sending emails with official-looking logos for valid businesses, but the user’s email address will be from a personal account (ex. firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of from an official business account for the organization they claim to represent.
We’ve all heard of the news about Equifax and the astonishing number of 143 million individuals whose personal information may have been stolen by hackers. With so many media outlets providing coverage on this issue, it’s hard not to panic and worry about whether you are one of the victims. Since we have been let down Equifax and its security systems, we are now the ones to bear the burden of protecting ourselves from identity theft. Even if you feel that your information has not been compromised, you need to proceed as if you are one of the victims.
The most important thing you need to do is to educate yourself on what is happening, what are the implications, what to look out for, and what actions you need to take. You need to be aware of the gravity of this situation and know how this can potentially affect your life. There are dozens of articles being published by the hour on this issue. Reading even one article will give you a better knowledge on what you need to do to protect yourself.
As terrible as this is already, there are scammers out there who would use this opportunity to try to deceive people into give out their personal information. For example, if you receive any calls or emails from someone claiming to be from Equifax, do not release any of your personal information. Check the scam or fraud alerts online and educate yourself on the existing and new scams.
There are many different things you can do to protect your identity, but it’s ultimately up to you to take action. The following are links to some articles and resources you can use to protect yourself now and in the future.