It seems that every month we find some company (or even government agency) in the news because its data system has been hacked. Every few months we hear about a breach that is massive in scale and stands out on its own. The Anthem data breach is one of those scary monsters that we will be hearing about for a long time.
Phishing Attacks Can Be Convincing
This image (provided by anthem) shows that sophisticated thieves put a lot of effort into being impostors. By looking just like the companies you trust, they try to trick you into giving up your personal and financial information.
According to Anthem, hackers were able to get “names, dates of birth, member ID/ social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information”. Anthem indicates that no medical records were accessed by the thieves. While that is a good thing, the information they did steal includes everything thieves could possibly want to steal your identity.
To add to the worries of the Anthem attack’s victims, in a later press release, Anthem indicates that there has also been a spate of attacks by other criminals trying to trick you into giving up your personal information to them.
Do Not Become a Victim for a Second Time
When a big data breach hits the news, criminals come out of the woodwork to take advantage of the situation. In this case, they are after your personal data by pretending to be Anthem. Using a method commonly referred to as phishing, scam artists send e-mails, create websites, and make phone calls claiming to help you. All they need to do is confirm your account number and personal information in order to assist you. Don’t give information to anyone that sends you an e-mail or calls you on the phone.
No legitimate company will contact you and ask for your identifying information. If a legitimate company contacts you, they already know all of your personal and account information. They won’t ask you for it.
What Should You Do?
Anthem set up an 800 number specifically to answer the questions of its customers. That number is 1-877-263-7995. If you have questions, only use that number to call Anthem directly.
If you need more information on avoiding identity theft and scams, Apprisen has a webpage dedicated to giving you the information you need. Also included is information on the steps you should take if you think you have become the victim of identity theft. Please, access the information here.
The most important action you can take is to monitor your credit report. Visit annualcreditreport.com. The site allows you to access free annual credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Order a report from one of the companies now, one from the second in four months, and a report from the last company four months after the second report.
When monitoring your credit report, look for new credit cards, loans, etc. that you did not authorize. If you need help reading and understanding your credit report, Apprisen can help you. Visit us online or call Apprisen at 800.355.2227.