Updated: April 17, 2014
We encourage our customers to take the following steps:
Order Your Free Credit Report.www.annualcreditreport.com, call toll-free at 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) website at www.ftc.gov and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The three credit bureaus provide free annual credit reports only through the website, toll-free number or request form.
We recommend that you remain vigilant by reviewing your credit reports. When you receive your credit report, review it carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look in the “inquiries” section for names of creditors from whom you haven’t requested credit. Some companies bill under names other than their store or commercial names. The credit bureau will be able to tell you when that is the case. Look in the “personal information” section for any inaccuracies in your information (such as home address and Social Security number). If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit bureau at the telephone number on the report. Errors in this information may be a warning sign of possible identity theft. You should notify the credit bureaus of any inaccuracies in your report, whether due to error or fraud, as soon as possible so the information can be investigated and, if found to be in error, corrected. If there are accounts or charges you did not authorize, immediately notify the appropriate credit bureau by telephone and in writing. Credit bureau staff will review your report with you. If the information can’t be explained, then you will need to call the creditors involved. Information that can’t be explained also should be reported to your local police or sheriff’s office because it may signal criminal activity.
Reporting Incidents. We encourage you to monitor your payment card account activity and immediately contact your bank or card issuer if you notice any suspicious activity. If you detect any incident of identity theft or fraud, promptly report the incident to law enforcement or your state Attorney General. If you believe your identity has been stolen, the FTC recommends that you take these additional steps:
- Close the accounts that you have confirmed or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit (available at www.ftc.gov/idtheft) when you dispute new unauthorized accounts.
- File a local police report. Obtain a copy of the police report and submit it to your creditors and any others that may require proof of the identity theft crime
You can contact the FTC to learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) www.ftc.gov/idtheft/
Identity Protection and Credit Monitoring Services. While we have received limited reports of fraud, we are offering affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers in the U.S. identity protection, credit monitoring and fraud assistance services from AllClear ID for 12 months at no cost to them. These services start on April 17, 2014 and will be available at any time during the next 12 months.
AllClear SECURE: This service provides customers with a trained representative to assist them in the event they experience a fraud-related issue resulting from this incident. Affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers are automatically eligible to use this service – there is no action required on their part to enroll. Affected customers may receive this fraud assistance service by calling 1-877-412-7145.
AllClear PRO: This service offers credit monitoring and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy. Beginning on April 17, 2014, please click here to learn more and sign up for these services
A customer is eligible for the services listed above if the customer used a payment card at
- Any of the impacted Michaels stores in the U.S. during the affected time periods (by store); or
- Any of the 54 impacted Aaron Brothers stores between June 26, 2013 and February 27, 2014.
Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File. To protect yourself from possible identity theft, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert helps protect you against the possibility of an identity thief opening new credit accounts in your name. When a merchant checks the credit history of someone applying for credit, the merchant gets a notice that the applicant may be the victim of identity theft. The alert notifies the merchant to take steps to verify the identity of the applicant. You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling any one of the toll-free numbers provided below. You will reach an automated telephone system that allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three credit bureaus.
|Equifax||Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc. P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374||1-800-525-6285||www.equifax.com|
|Experian||Experian Inc. P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013||1-888-397-3742||www.experian.com|
|TransUnion||TransUnion LLC P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022-2000||1-800-680-7289||www.transunion.com|
Consider Placing a Security Freeze on Your Credit File. You may wish to place a “security freeze” (also known as a “credit freeze”) on your credit file. A security freeze is designed to prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit file at the credit bureaus without your consent. There may be fees for placing, lifting, and/or removing a security freeze, which generally range from $5-$20 per action. Unlike a fraud alert, you must place a security freeze on your credit file at each credit bureau individually. For more information on security freezes, you may contact the three nationwide credit bureaus or the FTC as described above. Since the instructions for establishing a security freeze differ from state to state, please contact the three nationwide credit bureaus to find out more information.
The credit bureaus may require proper identification prior to honoring your request. For example, you may be asked to provide:
- Your full name with middle initial and generation (such as Jr., Sr., II, III)
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- Proof of your current residential address (such as a current utility bill)
- Addresses where you have lived over the past five years
- A legible copy of a government-issued identification card (such as a state driver's license or military ID card)
For Maryland Residents. You can obtain information from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General about steps you can take to avoid identity theft. You may contact the Maryland Attorney General at:
Maryland Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division 200 St. Paul Place Baltimore, MD 21202 (888) 743-0023 (toll-free in Maryland) (410) 576-6300 www.oag.state.md.us
For Massachusetts Residents. The credit bureaus may charge you a fee of up to $5 to place a security freeze on your account, and may require that you provide certain personal information (such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address) and proper identification (such as a copy of a government-issued ID card and a bill or statement) prior to honoring your request. There is no charge, however, to place, lift or remove a security freeze if you provide the credit bureaus with a valid police report. You have the right to obtain a police report.
For North Carolina Residents. You can obtain information from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office about preventing identity theft. You can contact the North Carolina Attorney General at:
North Carolina Attorney General's Office 9001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 (877) 566-7226 (toll-free in North Carolina) (919) 716-6400 www.ncdoj.gov