Scammers want to steal your ID with fake Equifax settlement sites -- don't let them
Fake Equifax settlement sites are starting to pop up. Don't fall for them.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
These sites prey on people who already feel vulnerable, hoping that they'll disclose personal information in an effort to cooperate or verify their identity. Scammers might ask you for your credit card number, your account information or Social Security number -- be aware.
Below are some best practices to avoid falling victim not only to this scam but any scam involves your personal information, like the recent Capital One hack.
Double-check the website address
It's fairly simple for someone with malicious intentions to create a fake website that looks and acts like a legitimate Equifax settlement website.
The FTC recommends you start all of your Equifax settlement-related tasks using the FTC's dedicated webpage for all things Equifax: https://ftc.gov/Equifax.
On that page, you'll find information about filing claims for the up to $125 settlement, credit protection as well as the look-up tool to see if your data was included in the breach.
It's always a good idea to double-check the URL in the address field of your browsers. Scammers will often buy addresses that mimic the legitimate URL, but with a few letters or words in a different order. Typos are one giveaway that you're on a fake site, for example "Eqiufax" instead of "Equifax".
Watch this: Equifax breach: Find out if you can claim part of the $700 million
If you enter the URL on your own, or get to a settlement site through another means, double-check that the web address is one of the following if you're:
Setting up a fake website isn't the only way a scammer might try to trick you. You may receive emails or phone calls from scammers pretending to be an Equifax or government official, asking for your personal information to process a claim for you -- don't reply to the email or give any of your personal information over the phone.
If someone contacts you and asks for payment to file or process your settlement claim, it's a scam. Filing a claim is free.