Bloomberg and other news sources are reporting that Chinese State sponsored criminals perpetrated the massive data breach of insurer Anthem, Inc. Reportedly, the personal information of more than 80 million Americans has been stolen. The stolen personal information includes: names, birth dates, social security numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, and employment information. According to Bloomberg, this is one of the biggest thefts of medical-related personal information in U.S. history. This data breach is the latest of a series of giant data thefts targeting well known U.S. companies, including Target Corp., Home Depot, Inc., and JP Morgan & Chase. These data breaches have impacted the data of hundreds of millions of Americans.
Anthem customers should be extremely vigilant to protect themselves against the significant risk of identity theft, following this significant breach. Here is a list of several specific actions affected consumers should take to protect themselves against the heightened risk of identity theft.
Monitor Existing Accounts
Review the account history of your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and credit cards and look for any suspicious activity. Identity thieves frequently attempt to use stolen personal information to gain access to these accounts.
Report Identity Theft to Law Enforcement and Request Credit Freeze
Contact your local police department and report the theft of your personal information. Obtain a copy of the incident report or investigative report that is prepared. Then, contact Equifax, Experian, or Transunion (the major three consumer reporting agencies) and request a credit freeze. As an identity theft victim, you may be able to obtain a credit freeze free of charge. A credit freeze prevents the information in your credit file from being reported to any third party, including banks, lenders and other financial institutions. This may be helpful in preventing any negative impact to your credit that could otherwise result from criminals obtaining credit in your name.
Obtain Identity Theft Protection
Consumer reporting agencies offer identity theft protection. These services monitor your credit file for any requested changes in your mailing address or attempts to obtain credit. The service alerts you if any attempt has been made to change information in your file, open a new account or obtain credit in your name.
Sign up for Fraud Alerts
Contact each of the major three consumer reporting agencies and request 90 day fraud alerts. Fraud alerts will notify lenders, banks and other financial institutions that they should take extra precautions in opening or servicing your credit accounts.
If you are insured by Anthem your personal information may have been stolen as a result of this massive data breach. We encourage you to contact our data breach attorneys to learn more about how to protect your privacy.