Special Alert! Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Data Breach
As you may be aware, the insurance company Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield suffered a cyber-attack on January 26, 2015. As a result of the breach, personal information about policy holders, current and former employees was compromised. This data includes names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates and emails among other identifiable information. To date, it has Anthem has confirmed that medical information has not been accessed. The timing of this breach is especially critical as tax filings occur between now and April 15th and many times hackers use personal information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim false refunds.
Anthem is one of Connecticut’s largest insurers and employers, and our office has the pleasure of working with several current and former employees. We know that these matters are not to be taken lightly and encourage you to take the following proactive steps to help mitigate the impact of this attack on you and your family:
Be extremely careful opening suspicious emails, clicking on links and downloading files contained in emails. Hackers often contain malware in these phishing emails and entice victims with claims for “free credit protection” as they know you may feel vulnerable as a result of the data breach.
- File your 2014 income tax return as quickly as possible to reduce the possibility that someone files a fraudulent return in your name.
- Review your credit report for new credit inquiries that you did not authorize.
- Keep an eye on bank accounts and unauthorized transactions processed on debit cards.
- Monitor credit card activity for suspicious charges. Be careful of small-denomination transactions that often go undetected.
- Consider placing fraud alerts and credit freezes on your credit report.
- Consider engaging services such as LifeLock that help protect consumers against identity theft.
If you are aware that your information has been compromised, more information can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
We also want to remind you that often scammers wait a long duration of time before they use the data that they stole, and it is extremely important not to be short-sighted when monitoring your financial household. It is not uncommon for false claims to arise more than a year or more after a hacker has obtained your personal information.
We wish you all the best, and if there are any concerns you have about your personal situation please contact our office.