Sen. Corker concerned about scams following Equifax hack

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More developments came down Tuesday in the wake of the massive Equifax security breach, which exposed personal information of as many as 143 million Americans.

The company announced CEO Richard Smith is out as head of Equifax, in what's being called a retirement. Smith had been CEO for 12 years.

Tennessee's Senator Bob Corker spoke about the growing scandal Tuesday during an interview on CNBC's morning program, Squawk Box.

"I don't know that I can weigh in. We're going to have a hearing towards that end," Corker remarked.

Corker is on the Senate Banking Committee, which is scheduled to hear testimony from now-former Equifax CEO Richard Smith on October 4. It's been nearly three weeks since the agency first disclosed the breach.

He told CNBC he couldn't talk in specifics about the breach but has phishing concerns for himself and his family in the wake of the credit agency's failure.

"All I know is I'm not responding to any emails I get from Equifax, worried that I'm going to be phished, all my data's going to be stolen," Corker said. "I've told my entire family, 'Please don't respond to anything that has Equifax on it.'"

But our Chief Consumer Investigator Andy Wise said one clear sign of a phishing attempt is if someone posing to be a credit bureau reaches out to you first.

"As long as you've initiated contact with Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian to initiate a credit monitoring service or a credit freeze, you're good to go," Andy Wise said.

He also said you should go to Equifax's website set up in the wake of the breach to determine if you're affected. If you are, he advises that you take the free credit monitoring being offered.

"Take the free monitoring service. There's no risk. They're not going to ask for a credit card or debit card number," he said, "The credit monitoring service is not fraud protection. It's a monitoring service."

Andy said the best thing to do is freeze your credit with the three bureaus. It will offer you a solid first-line of defense, and you can always thaw it for a big purchase later.

"Putting a freeze on all three of your credit reports will ensure no line of credit is added to your credit report without your permission," Andy said.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.