PALM BEACH, FL – The Federal Trade Commission is warning Internet users, all 147 million people who were affected by the Equifax Data Breach in 2017, to beware of fake Equifax settlement websites which have been setup by thieves trying to steal consumers information when they attempt to file a claim online.
Typically, users are sent an email that a class action lawsuit has resulted in a settlement making them eligible for credit monitoring services and/or a cash claim against the company allowing people to both check their eligibility and to file a claim on the website (equifaxbreachsettlement.com). (I personally have received two of these emails, both which appear to be legitimate now that I gone back and checked them. It is extremely important to always double-triple check URLs in emails, even when expecting an email.)
According to the FTC, fake websites are being setup in an attempt to take advantage of those who wish to file their claim online with the FTC recommending people wishing to file begin at https//ftc.gov/Equifax.
Just last week, we told you to go to ftc.gov/Equifax to find out if your information – like your Social Security number – was exposed in the September 2017 Equifax data breach. At that same website, you can also start a claim for benefits available under the settlement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax. Wouldn’t you know it? People may have already started putting up fake websites meant to look like the official Equifax settlement claims website. To be sure you’re going to the right place, start at the FTC’s page: ftc.gov/Equifax.
One of the tricks these fraudsters are using is to register confusingly similar domain names that misspell the word “Equifax” as “Eqiufax” and users should be aware of this sneaky trick visiting the claim site directly from the FTC site or double-triple checking they are in fact on the correct site.
The company, Equifax is victim to yet another lawsuit from this same breach as information has come to light that the company was storing customers secure information in a system they used a very weak password for, with the login name being the word “admin” and the password also being “admin”, amazingly careless credentials.
“Equifax employed the username ‘admin’ and the password ‘admin’ to protect a portal used to manage credit disputes, a password that ‘is a surefire way to get hacked,’” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of shareholders who accuse the company of failing to adequately disclose risks of its security practices.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®