February 12, 2015
In a recent major security breach, hackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem Health’s IT system. Hackers obtained personal data such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birthdays, email and employment information on up to 80 million current and former customers and Anthem employees. Anthem says that attackers didn’t get any medical records, however, they did get access to medical identification numbers found on insurance cards.
In large-scale breaches like the one at Anthem, criminals could pose as medical billers and fraudulently charge consumers’ insurance companies for medical services and drugs. Hackers could also use your personal information to alter your medical records.
So, how should you react as a consumer? Create a copy of your medical file, so you have an accurate version of your medical history before a fraudster potentially makes any changes. Get a record of your blood type and any drug allergies. Also, if you have an online patient portal, print out or save a copy of those files elsewhere. Keep in mind that these are long lifespan crimes. Fraudulent activity may not show up for six months to a year.
Scammers have already started sending emails that appear to be from Anthem’s insurers, in an attempt to con people into sharing personal data. Current and formers members will be contacted by Anthem via mail delivered by the United States Postal Service about the breach, including details on how to enroll in free credit monitoring and ID protection services, which will be provided for a year. Additionally, Anthem created a website, www.AnthemFacts.com, and a toll-free number, 1-877-263-7995, to respond to questions.
To read the entire article, please visit www.nytimes.com.