We have two very important things to share in this newsletter.
First, please read about a current Social Security scam going around. It sounds extremely real, and it is very frightening.
Additionally, in 2017, Equifax, one of the three largest credit-reporting agencies, had a significant data breach. More than 148 million, yes, that is MILLION, consumer identities were compromised.
Data breaches have become so commonplace, I hope you are taking the necessary precautions to safeguard and monitor your accounts.
As we have mentioned before, children 18 and under are THE most vulnerable for identity theft. Make sure you monitor your child’s account as well as your own. If you would like additional information about data breaches or protecting yourself and family from Identity Theft, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free presentation.
SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM Your Benefits Have Not Been Terminated!
There is a new Social Security Administration robocall scam in town and it sounds VERY real. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states
this is currently the number one scam reported to their office. In the first six months of 2019, people filed nearly 73,000 reports about this scam with reported losses of $17 million.
Do not fall for it, and do not press 1 to connect to the “Social Security Administration manager.” The call goes something like this: “All your Social Security benefits will be canceled until further clearance. In case you feel this is in error, press 1 in order to speak to a Social Security Administration Officer. In case we do not hear from you, your Social Security will be blocked permanently.”
If you receive this call, do not press 1, just HANG UP. Remember, the real Social Security Administration will NEVER call to threaten your benefits. Social Security will NEVER ask you to wire, send cash, or use a money/gift card to pay them.
How to File an Equifax Claim
Before finding out what, if any, support you may be eligible for, you will first need to determine if your information was affected in the Equifax data breach.
This link for consumers concerned about the Equifax data breach settlement has a very handy button that will provide that info for you.
While we have warned about providing your social security number to someone, in this case, in order to find out if your information is secure, you will have to enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. The site is secure and with the information, you will immediately know if your data was compromised.
If your information is compromised, your first task will be to choose from one of three options. Remember to read the fine print for all these options.
- You can receive free credit monitoring services. Alternatively, if you already have credit monitoring services, you can request a cash payment of up to $125. Keep in mind, that $125 is not guaranteed. The actual payout amount is based on the total number of people submitting a claim.
- Free Identity Restoration Services: You are eligible for at least 7 years of free assisted identity restoration services to help you remedy the effects of identity theft and fraud.
- The last option is you may be eligible for reimbursement of time spent, out of pocket expenses or partial reimbursement of credit monitoring if you have already paid for that service.
The deadline for filing a claim is January. You can choose to do nothing but the choice you make is important. Consider how the breach or any subsequent identity issue may impact you. The process of recovering after an identity theft case is very costly. At the very least, if your data has been breached, consider taking advantage of the free credit monitoring.
CLICK TO: LINK TO EQUIFAX DATA BREACH INFORMATION