Major new security alert issued as scammers target personal information

New phone scam taking people by surprise

DETROIT – A new national security alert has many people concerned as the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about a new scam.

The security alert was just issued. A scam targeting mainly seniors begins with what appears to be a legitimate phone call. Many people have fallen for the scam, sharing personal information before they realize the call is part of an elaborate scheme.

Anyone who receives a call that seems suspicious should hang up, experts said. If you want to check with the Social Security Administration, call directly at 800-772-1213 to verify any initiated contact. If you've been scammed, report it to the SSA fraud hotline at 800-269-0271.

Scams and hacks have many people thinking about the massive Equifax hack. Anyone who hasn't enrolled in the free credit-monitoring program has until Jan. 31. It's free and available to anyone, even if you weren't hacked.

Some of the hacked information from the Equifax breach is showing up overseas as investigators learn of victims being notified about fraudulent activity tied to their personal information.

As tax season approaches, even more news is expected on how that major breach is impacting customers.

Experts say be vigilant, because scammers are looking to target people as they prepare documents for tax season. Never give out personal information over the phone, and if someone shows up at the door asking for information, ask them for identification and call police if you are concerned.