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Terry Goddard Calls on ChoicePoint, Inc. to Notify Consumers of Security Breach

(Phoenix, Ariz. – February 18, 2004)  Attorney General Terry Goddard joined 18 state attorneys general in asking ChoicePoint, Inc. to immediately notify any consumers in their states whose information may have been released to a ring of identity thieves.

ChoicePoint, Inc., a Georgia-based company, provides personal data to credit providers, government agencies, landlords and others who perform credit history checks.  While the extent of the theft is unknown, only California has a law that requires companies to notify residents of a security breach.

“I’m very concerned that many Arizona consumers could be harmed by this theft,” Goddard said.  “It is incumbent on this company to make sure any consumers who used ChoicePoint’s services is notified so they can take steps to protect their personal information.”

The letter asked ChoicePoint, Inc. to do the following:

  • Inform all Arizona consumers whose personal information is known to have been compromised.
  • Provide these consumers with information about the security breach including what happened and when the security breach occurred
  • Urge those persons whose personal information may have been compromised that they should check their credit reports for new accounts or suspicious activity

According recent news accounts, the thieves were able to successfully subscribe to the service using falsified information. The thieves would then request – under a new subscriber’s name – a person’s personal information. They would take that information and open credit accounts used to purchase merchandise.

Goddard suggested that consumers worried about the breach may consider ordering a credit report to check for any suspicious activity.   Arizona consumers can now get a free annual credit report from all three credit reporting agencies under a new Federal Trade Commission rule. Arizona consumers may want to order the three reports over a period of several months so that they can better follow their credit records.

To obtain the free reports, consumers can call 1-877-322-8228, order online at www.annualcreditreport.com or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form, available at www.ftc.gov/credit, and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. 

Others signing the letter include Attorneys General of Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington.