Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that the Office is part of a multistate investigation into the Equifax data breach looking how this breach took place, what the company is doing to assist and protect consumers now, and the steps the company is taking to ensure better protections for consumers going forward.
"Since the Equifax breach was announced late last week, we have received countless calls and emails from consumers who are rightfully angry and frustrated over the lack of information and clarity from the company on how this happened, protections that are being offered, and what rights consumers may have against the company," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
"While we continue to seek answers from Equifax, and will use all tools available to do so, we want to provide consumers a place where they can go to get the latest information available on the breach. We are updating our website daily (www.riag.ri.gov) with information and tips on ways to protect yourself from being further victimized. We are also working in partnership with other attorneys general and federal agencies to share information on how consumers in different states are being impacted in an effort to share that information with Rhode Island consumers," he added.
Attorney General Kilmartin reminds consumers of measures to take outside of the Equifax process to better protect from being victimized:
• All consumers should be very suspicious of emails from government agencies or their financial institutions looking to confirm specific personal information or financial account information.
• Do NOT trust any unsolicited email, text, or phone call that claims to be from a government agency or financial institution.
• Do NOT click on a link in any email or text that claims to be from a government agency or financial institution.
• Do NOT provide personal information over the telephone to someone who contacts you that claims to be from a government agency or a financial institution.
• Always contact your financial institution directly – by phone - to report suspicious activity on your accounts or to confirm whether they sent you a notification.
• Check ALL your financial accounts DAILY for suspicious activity and report it immediately to your financial institution.
• Based on information out of Alabama where a hacker used a person's compromised information in an attempt to trick a retirement broker into gaining access to a client's account, we strongly advise that you contact your investment or retirement manager to understand what protocols and safety measures are in place to ensure someone cannot pose as you to gain access to your accounts.
We encourage you to let us know if this breach has resulted in attempts by a hacker to use your compromised information to gain access to your financial information or accounts, including, not but limited to your bank accounts, credit cards, and retirement or investment accounts. Sharing this information with our office will allow us to warn others to be on the lookout for similar attempts.
To contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit please call (401) 274-4400 or email at email@example.com. To learn more about the Equifax data breach, please visit http://www.riag.ri.gov/homeboxes/Consumer.php.