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Serious Optus warning over 'free Equifax subscription'

Optus store. Scam text message for Equifax subscription.
Aussies have been told to watch out for scam messages claiming to offer a free Equifax subscription. (Source: Getty/Supplied)

Optus customers have been warned about a new scam message claiming to offer a free Equifax subscription.

Equifax is the credit-reporting body that has been tasked with supporting Optus customers following last month’s massive data breach. Now scammers are posing as representatives from the company and trying to trick Aussies.

One of the scam messages reads: “Optus customers affected by the recent cyberattack are entitled to FREE equifax subscription” and includes a phishing link.

Scamwatch has told Aussies to look out for the messages and to delete them.

“Scam alert: Beware of phishing texts claiming Optus customers are entitled to a free Equifax subscription,” Scamwatch wrote in a tweet.

“Don’t open links or give personal info – just press delete!”

New and existing Optus customers are actually eligible for a free 12-month Equifax Protection subscription, which usually costs $14.95 per month.

The subscription gives customers access to credit-monitoring and identity-protection services.

But to sign up, Optus said customers should message Optus directly, via the MyOptus app, or by calling them to receive an activation code and a link to activate it with Equifax.

$4 billion lost to scams

Aussies are expected to lose $4 billion to scams in 2022, according to recent estimates by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scamwatch has already received more than 166,000 reports between January and September this year, with more than $425.8 million in total losses.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said scammers were “relentlessly targeting Australians”.

“There have been hundreds of reports to Scamwatch in the weeks after the recent high-profile data breaches and that is expected to continue,” Rickard said.

“Cyber criminals have capitalised on the data breach by impersonating government departments and businesses to carry out identity theft and remote-access scams.”

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