If you've been worried that you may be a victim of the massive data breach at Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the company has your answer — anyone who was a customer over the past 10 years is a potential victim and should take appropriate steps to minimize the damage. Also, if you used a Blue Card in any Anthem affiliated area during that time, you are also impacted.
In addition, Anthem is warning of a phishing scam — malicious emails and phone calls that pretend to come from the company, seeking personal information such as credit card numbers.
The company has been working around the clock with a major security firm, Mandiant, and with the FBI to learn more about the data breach discovered on Jan. 29, 2015.
The breach involved everything needed to steal identities: names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and employment data including income.
In response, Anthem has arranged for two years of free credit monitoring and repair services.
In a letter sent to potential victims on Feb. 23, Anthem revealed that the breach is believed to have taken place over several weeks beginning in early December 2014. Besides detailing the time frame and protection services, the company also warns you to beware of phishing schemes.
The letter notes, “Anthem is not calling members regarding the cyber-attack and is not asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone."
Besides the phone scam, a fake email campaign is underway to steal personal information. The cynical email preys on the fears of people already frightened about the breach. It includes a “click here" link, claiming that the link is to sign up for credit monitoring. Anthem's letter states emphatically, “These emails are NOT from Anthem."
If you have not already done so, LifeLock recommends that you take the following actions:
- Change passwords for email accounts, financial accounts and social media accounts.
- Order a credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on the report (Equifax: 800 525-6285; TransUnion: 800 680-7289; and Experian: 888 397-3742)
- Monitor transactions by keeping an eye on credit and debit card accounts, looking for any fraudulent transactions and report any suspicious transaction immediately using the phone number on the back of the credit or debit card.
- If you have further questions, call Anthem at 1-877-263-7995.