NC Attorney General Urges Anthem Breach Victims To Protect Themselves: More Than 775,000 NC residents Affected By Massive Data Breach

NC Attorney General Urges Anthem Breach Victims To Protect Themselves: More Than 775,000 NC residents Affected By Massive Data Breach

By / State News / Wednesday, 04 March 2015 05:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : March 2, 2015 - Victims of the recent data breach reported by Anthem should take steps to prevent their stolen information from being used to commit identity theft, and all consumers need to know what to do if they are impacted by a breach, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
“When your information is compromised, it puts you at greater risk of identity theft and other types of fraud,” Cooper cautioned. “Learn what to do if a security breach impacts you, and if you’re affected by this recent breach, take action now to protect yourself.”
Cooper urged consumers to educate themselves about security breaches and steps to protect their identity during National Consumer Protection Week, March 1-7, 2015. Consumers who may be victims of the Anthem breach need to act quickly, Cooper said.
Anthem, a large health insurance company, announced earlier this month that it had been the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of 80 million consumers’ information.  The security breach reportedly included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers or member ID numbers, telephone numbers, email addresses, and employment information but not credit card information.
Anthem made it public last week that more than 775,000 North Carolina residents were affected, including members of Anthem insurance plans, some members of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, and some members of other BlueCross BlueShield Plans who reside in North Carolina. Certain federal employees and their families who aren't Anthem members might also be affected by the breach.
Cooper and several other state attorneys general are investigating the breach, and his Consumer Protection Division is working to get more information about how North Carolinian's may be impacted by it.
Cooper recommends that affected consumers take the following steps:
 Check your credit reports. Once criminals have your personal information, they may use it to open new accounts in your name. Everyone is allowed a free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus.
Breach victims can also request a fraud alert from one of the credit bureaus, and should consider a security freeze for maximum protection.
Use free services offered to victims. Anthem has said it will offer 24 months of identity theft repair and credit monitoring to current or former members of an affected Anthem plan dating back to 2004.  More information is available from Anthem at www.anthemfacts.com.
The Anthem breach and others involving health care information could potentially lead to medical identity theft.  Check your explanation of benefits statements from your health insurance company to make sure any medical treatments you have been billed for actually match treatments you’ve received.
Be on guard for calls, emails, texts or social media posts seeking your personal information or money.  Scammers may pretend to be with your bank, utility, legitimate companies or government agencies, and if they already have some of your personal information they can seem more convincing. Do not fall for it.
Watch out for scams that try to capitalize on the breach.  For example, some consumers reported getting emails offering them free credit monitoring in the wake of the Anthem breach, but the emails were not legitimate.
 “When the information stolen includes phone numbers and email addresses, consumers are at higher risk for telemarketing fraud, phishing and other types of scams,” Cooper warned.
A data or security breach happens when records containing personal information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card or bank account numbers, are lost, stolen or accessed improperly.
State law requires businesses as well as state and local government agencies to notify consumers if their personal information has been breached.  They are also required to report security breaches to the Attorney General’s Office. 
More than 2,500 breaches that involved information about more than 6.2 million North Carolina consumers have been reported to the Attorney General’s Office since 2005.
You’ve probably seen the headlines that Anthem Insurance Company has experienced a massive data breach that could affect some 80 million of its customers. In many cases a company that suffers a breach will offer i
ts affected customers free credit monitoring, which makes it easier for people to find out if crooks are using their stolen data to make purchases, open accounts, take out loans, etc.
In this instance, scammers are trying to piggyback on the breach by sending out phony emails offering free credit monitoring. The email contains a link for recipients to click in order to enroll in the monitoring.
People who receive this email should not click the link or respond to the message in any way.
Anthem customers will be receiving written information from the company regarding the breach (which exposed a lot of confidential information but apparently did not include credit card numbers.)
The breach doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Anthem customers will become a victim of fraud, identity theft, or medical identity theft, but it does put them at greater risk. This breach is a good reminder that we all need to monitor our credit and watch our accounts for unauthorized charges.
Check out our detailed list of tips for what to do after a security breach, and for more tips on protecting yourself from crimes and scams, visit www.ncdoj.gov.
For more detailed list of what to do after a security breach as well as other consumer tips, visit www.ncdoj.gov
Source: North Carolina Department of Justice.

Author

Super User

Super User

Carolina Beach North Carolina

Windy
53°F
NE at 40 mph /73%
Thursday
48°F / 67°F
Friday
43°F / 56°F
Saturday
45°F / 60°F

 

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.