Anthem, Inc, the country’s second largest health insurance company has announced that it has suffered a massive data breach in which personal information on up to 80 million of its customers and staff were stolen including personal information of its President and CEO, Joseph R. Swedish. Included in the compromised personal information was names, birthdates, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses and email addresses. This is a veritable treasure trove of data for identity thieves. According to Anthem, no credit card data was stolen, however, this is of little consolation to those people who the victims of this data breach as the amount of information that was stolen on each victim is quite sufficient to be translated into making them victims of identity theft. Once again, this shows that you are only as safe as the places that hold your personal information.
Particularly troubling is the theft of the medical IDs which brings up the possibility of medical identity theft which occurs when someone uses your information to gain access to your medical insurance and which can cause the identity thief’s medical information to be included on the victim’s medical record. This can result in someone receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type or other potentially deadly results. Correcting medical records tainted by medical identity theft is quite difficult. You can go to the archives of Scamicide for more information about medical identity theft and what you can do about it.
At the moment, we do not know how the breach was accomplished, but the FBI and Mandiant a private cybersecurity firm are investigating the breach. As soon as it is determined how the breach occurred, I will report it to you. Meanwhile, if you are an Anthem customer, you should assume that you may be affected. Anthem has set up a website to which you can go for the latest information about the breach. it is http://www.AnthemFacts.com. Anthem has also set up a toll free number for present and past Anthem customers to call for further information. That number is 1-877-263-7995. It is important to remember that you may be contacted by an email or text message that appears to come from Anthem asking you for information or to click on links. Do not do so. The communications may be from other identity thieves seeking information. If you have any questions after receiving such an email, you should go directly to the Anthem website http://www.AnthemFacts.com or call them at the toll free number indicated above. Also, this is a good time, if you have not done so, to consider putting a credit freeze on your credit report. You can find out how to do this in the Archives of Scamicide. Finally, if you are a Anthem customer, you should also start monitoring all of your financial accounts more regularly for any evidence of fraud.