Schuette, Other State AGs Open Investigation, Issue Scathing Letter, New Consumer Alert Following Equifax Security BreachContact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne 517-373-8060Agency: Attorney General
September 15, 2017
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced he has joined a multi-state investigation with over 40 other state Attorneys General and has signed on to a letter to Equifax demanding the company improve its consumer response to the breach and take steps to refund those who have already paid for a credit freeze.
In Michigan, more than 4,000,000 people may have had their personal information compromised through an alleged cyberattack on Equifax’s database.
“Over the last week, my office has worked with Attorneys General across the country to launch an investigation and issue a letter demanding better customer service from Equifax,” said Schuette. “While the investigation is ongoing, it is important that Michigan residents determine if they were affected by the breach and take steps to monitor their credit reports and their bank accounts and credit card statements, and report any suspicious activity immediately."
Complaints to the Department of Attorney General are significant and the number continues to grow.
“I strongly encourage those who believe their personal information was compromised to file a complaint with my office,” Schuette added. “It is indefensible that they be forced to pay fees to fully protect themselves from the fallout of Equifax’s data breach. I encourage everyone who has been affected to report their experience to my office.”
Letter from State Attorneys General
Schuette and other state Attorneys General issued a letter demanding Equifax reimburse the cost associated with a credit freeze for affected individuals, and their alleged failure to protect their data from a security breach.
The Attorneys General also expressed their concerns that the November 21, 2017 cutoff date for free credit monitoring for consumers is short-sighted and suggests that date be extended to at least January 31, 2018.
Ongoing Investigation into Equifax’s Cyber Security
Equifax, one of the primary credit reporting agencies in the United States, claims it learned of the breach on July 29, 2017 and that it occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The party responsible for the hack is still unknown.
Schuette has joined the a multi-state Attorneys General investigation as a member of the executive committee, and will be a leading voice in the pursuit of full disclosure from Equifax.
New Consumer Alert
Schuette also issued a new consumer alert to assist Michigan residents about important steps to protect their identity.
The alert provides directions on how to determine if you were affected by the Equifax breach, request a credit report and freeze, and rights for consumers affected by this breach.
Michigan Law and Identity Theft
Under Michigan’s Identity Theft Protection Act, MCL 445.72(1) requires that notice be provided to Michigan residents when that resident’s “personal information” was breached. MCL 445.72 lays out the notice requirements when a security breach impacts Michigan residents and provides the attorney general with authority to bring an action to recover a civil fine.
How to File a Complaint
Consumer Protection Division P.O. Box 30213 Lansing, MI 48909-7713 Facsimile: 517-241-3771
To file online go to Online Consumer Complaint/Inquiry, otherwise send by regular mail or fax as listed above. If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388.