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Michigan Department of Attorney General Re-Releases “Data Breaches-What to do Next” Consumer Alert to Celebrate National Consumer Protection Week

LANSING – To close out National Consumer Protection Week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is drawing Michigan residents’ attention to the department’s consumer alert on data breaches, providing tips and resources to residents who have had their personal information stolen or misused.

“My office understands that dealing with identity theft can be a harrowing experience, and we’re here to help,” Nessel said. “As your connection to consumer protection, the Department of Attorney General offers services like the Michigan Identity Theft Support System to help you restore your good name.”

The number of data breaches and reported incidents of identity theft continues to rise every year. On average, there is an identity theft victim in the U.S. every two seconds. If your information is impacted following a breach, you need to take the threat seriously and take steps to prevent becoming an identity theft victim.

Less Sensitive – Contact Information:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Phone number; and
  • Email address.

Someone else having this information alone is generally not enough to put you at much risk. However, thieves use basic contact information as a gateway to more sensitive personal information, so you need to be on the lookout for phishing emails and calls.

More Sensitive:

  • Credit and debit card numbers;
  • Birth dates;
  • Maiden names; and
  • Driver's license number.

Stolen credit card numbers may result in fraudulent charges. Stolen debit card numbers can result in overdrafts and bounced checks. Your liability will depend on how quickly you report the theft.

Someone possessing your birth date information or maiden name, like contact information, is not in itself inherently risky; however, when it is combined with your name and other contact information, it is more valuable to thieves because it never changes and is often asked for to verify identity.

In Michigan, if your driver's license is stolen, report it to local law enforcement then go to your local Secretary of State branch with "proof of identity" and ask that a "driver's license alert" be put on your record.

Most Sensitive:

  • Social security number;
  • Bank and financial account numbers; and
  • Account logins and passwords.

A stolen social security number (SSN) is a worse-case scenario. With your social security number and your name, almost anyone can pose as you; open new loans and credit accounts in your name, incur medical debts, create medical records, file fake tax returns, and generate criminal records.

Report the theft of your SSN to the local police, the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and, if identity theft results, the Federal Trade Commission.

Immediately report to your bank or financial institution the theft of your account numbers.

Stolen account logins and passwords create multiple fraud opportunities for thieves to directly steal from you or search your email for more personal sensitive information. The damage can multiply if you use the same login and password for other accounts. Change affected logins and passwords immediately and use two-step authentication.

Michigan Identity Theft Support System

The Michigan Department of Attorney General can also assist residents dealing with identity theft directly through the Michigan Identity Theft Support System (MITS). MITS will provide Michigan identity theft victims with resources and guidance in determining ways to minimize damage caused by identity theft. To request guidance or assistance, you must complete the Request for Identity Theft Assistance form. MITS staff will contact you if they can be of service.

The Michigan Department of Attorney General addresses over 30,000 consumer complaints annually, ranging from identity theft and online scams to robocalls or fraudulent business practices. For more information about popular consumer scams, or if you believe you’ve been a victim, residents can contact the Consumer Protection team Monday-Friday at 877-765-8388 or complete our online complaint form.


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