LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette Monday announced his consumer protection team has released an update to the Equifax Breach Consumer Alert providing the latest information following the announcement that an additional 2.5 million consumers were impacted by the breach.
The consumer protection team also released a new alert, “Credit Freeze; Fraud Alert; & Credit Monitoring,” to help Michigan consumers understand the different protection measures they can take after a security breach.
“The fall out from this breach continues to grow and my consumer protection team is diligently working to make sure Michigan residents know what to monitor as they move forward,” said Schuette. “It is important for individuals to determine if they are affected and I encourage anyone who believes their personal information has been compromised to file a complaint with my office.”
Equifax recently announced that 2.5 million more consumers were impacted by the breach than originally thought, including almost 80,000 additional Michigan residents. In Michigan, the breach has now impacted the personal information of more than 4.6 million consumers. Complaints to the Department of Attorney General are significant and the number continues to grow. Currently, more than 560 complaints have been filed.
Equifax promised to update their website by October 8, 2017, so that consumers can check if they are in the newly discovered group. If you checked your status with Equifax before October 8 and were not impacted, it is important to check again to ensure that status has not changed and to take appropriate steps to protect your information if it has.
The newly released consumer alert offers Michigan residents information on how to protect themselves from identity theft in the wake of a security breach. In addition to educating Michigan consumers about the basics of fraud alerts, credit freezes, and credit monitoring, the alert answers some of the frequently asked questions about these measures, including the following:
- Do I have to freeze my credit with all three credit agencies?
- Is there a difference between a security freeze and a credit lock?
- Do I have to pay for a fraud alert?
- How can I make the most of credit monitoring?
- Letter from State Attorneys General
Schuette joined other state Attorneys General last month in issuing a letter demanding Equifax reimburse the cost associated with a credit freeze for affected individuals. In the letter, the Attorneys General also expressed their concern that the original November, 21, 2017 cutoff date for Equifax’s free services was short-sighted.
As part of last week’s announcement about the additional 2.5 million impacted consumers, Equifax also extended the deadline to sign up for its free services to January 31, 2018, and promised to send direct mail notice to those most recently identified impacted consumers. Originally Equifax was sending direct mail notice of breach impact to a limited list of 380,000 consumers.
How to check if your information was breached
Go to Equifax’s Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information website to see if your information has been impacted.
You can also read Equifax’s FAQ for Consumers; Progress Updates for Consumers; and Notice of Data Breach to keep up on the latest announcements from Equifax.