Is that Data Breach Letter Real?
August 5, 2015
The Arkansas Attorney General’s Public Protection Department has received a number of calls regarding a recent data breach at Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE). MIE services health care providers by storing personal and protected health information of patients across the country, including Arkansans.
MIE began mailing out notice letters to affected individuals last week causing many Arkansans to question the letter’s legitimacy because they are not aware of the third party service providers that often manage personal data.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to help Arkansans determine whether or not a breach notice is valid and to offer tips on what to do if they have questions about credit monitoring.
“For good reason, many Arkansans are learning to be skeptical of unsolicited communication,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Although scammers use fake letters, this letter is real, and our Public Protection Department is on standby to assist those who may have fallen victim to a data breach.”
Attorney General Rutledge offers the following tips if you are notified of a data breach:
- First, if you are concerned about the validity of the letter, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Public Protection Department at (800) 482-8982, firstname.lastname@example.org or ask consumer related questions at ArkansasAG.gov.
- If the data breach is determined to impact your personal information and the compromised information relates to existing financial accounts or your Social Security number, contact your financial institution to close or change the account information as soon as possible.
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit bureau reports by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert is designed to stop an identity thief from using personal information to open fraudulent credit accounts.
- If fraudulent activity has occurred, consider placing a security freeze on your credit bureau reports in an effort to prevent credit, loans and services from being approved in your name without consent.
- File complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office if the data breach is confirmed to have included your personal information.
- Periodically monitor credit bureau reports for any unusual activity and check for accuracy. Everyone is allowed one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus. To learn how to obtain a free annual credit report under federal law, visit annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228. A victim of fraud is eligible to receive one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus. Requests for a free report based on a fraud claim should be made directly to the credit bureaus:
For more information on steps to take if a data breach has compromised personal information and other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.