Attorney General Bill Schuette’s updated “Equifax Breach” Consumer Alert advises consumers on what they need to know regarding Equifax’s recent announcement that an additional 2.5 million consumers were impacted by the breach.
In addition, to help consumers navigate their post-breach activities, the new Alert, “Credit Freeze; Fraud Alert; & Credit Monitoring” provides details and answers frequently asked questions regarding these services. With millions of Michigan residents’ personal information at risk as a result of the Equifax breach, it is important to understand these identity theft prevention measures.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the Attorney General’s report.
- The breach impacted the social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of 145.5 million Americans, including more than 4.6 million Michigan residents. Credit card information, dispute documents with personal identifying information, and driver’s license numbers were also stolen in some cases.
- When breaches, like this one, occur from hacking or unauthorized access, the stolen personal information is more likely to be used to commit identity theft. Thus, you need to take the threat seriously and take steps now to prevent becoming an identity theft victim.
- Equifax was sending direct notices of the breach by U.S. mail to impacted customers. If you receive notice thru email or a phone call, it is a phishing scam and someone is trying to get your personal information. Ignore the caller and delete any email messages.
- If you sign up for any of the free Equifax services, email communications will come from TrustedID Customer Service—not Equifax.
- Before you accept a free subscription offered to you as a result of a security breach, carefully consider any conditions placed on your acceptance of this subscription.
- Even though Equifax is contacting those affected by the breach, it is still up to you to keep an eye on your credit.