What can Anthem customers — past and present — expect in terms of the company’s recent data breach?
Anthem, Inc. has said it would take about 10-14 days to determine who was affected by the breach. Once those impacted have been identified, the company will begin notifying them via mailed letters and possibly emails.
The company has also said it would provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge for those who have been affected.
In the interest of keeping you informed about this important topic, we are passing along some helpful information and tips for what you can do if you think your data may have been compromised*:
Who is at risk: Anyone who has been or is currently covered by a policy from any Anthem operating company. This includes Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare.
NOTE: CareFirst BCBS is NOT an affiliate of Anthem, Inc. and is not impacted.
What information was stolen: Information stolen includes names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information including income data. In the Hacker world a complete data set like this is referred to as a Fulz. A Fulz data set contains everything necessary to assume another person’s identity and is extremely valuable due to the completeness of information.
Children are at the highest risk: The data taken includes birth dates which will allow criminals to determine the age of the person. Children are at the highest risk of having their identity stolen because they do not check their own credit history.
If you are or were insured by an Anthem company
Start monitoring your credit now. This breach took place weeks or months ago and the data may already be on the street.
If you receive an email from Anthem or one of its companies, be very careful before you click on any links. It may be a fake and you will only make matters worse by clicking on the link. You may be redirected to an official looking page that is actually phony and asks you to log in at which point the criminals can steal your login credentials or worse, they may infect your machine with a virus or malware that steals your data or locks it up (encrypts it). Anthem has provided information about possible email scams on their FAQ page.
Consider setting a fraud alert for new credit applications or freezing your credit report now. Also known as a security freeze, a credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. The Federal Trade Commission has full information on freezing your credit report at this link: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
Don’t forget to protect your children. They are most likely at the highest risk for identity theft and fraud. Consider also applying the same precautions to their files.
Share this information. The more people that protect their credit early on, the less valuable the stolen data becomes to the criminals.
*Source: Public service alert from JANUS Associates
Communicating with Anthem
Please be assured we are continuing to work closely with Anthem to better understand the cyber attack and its impact.
More information can be found on Anthem’s dedicated website — www.anthemfacts.com. The company has also established a hotline, 1-877-263-7995, that you can call for more information.
In addition, Anthem has shared a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
We will continue to keep you updated on Anthem’s ongoing investigation into the attack.
Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.