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AG Conway Offers Consumer Tips Following Anthem Data Breach

By: Daniel Kemp

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection are encouraging Kentuckians to take steps to protect their personal information and watch for signs of identity theft following a data breach recently announced by Anthem, one of the nation's largest health insurers.

Anthem has confirmed it was the subject of a "sophisticated, external cyberattack," and that hackers gained access to the names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses, email and employment information of current and former customers, as well as employees. The company has said that the stolen data did not include medical records or credit card numbers.

"Becoming a victim of a data breach can be a frustrating and stressful experience," Attorney General Conway said. "If you have been impacted by this recent cyberattack on Anthem, I encourage you to take advantage of the free credit monitoring and identity protection services being offered by the company. Additionally, consumers can always find a step-by-step toolkit designed to assist identity theft victims on my website, ag.ky.gov. The faster you detect identity theft, the sooner you can report and correct it."

Attorney General Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection also recommend the following tips to help keep you safe from identity thieves:
  • Check your mail. Open letters you receive and look for notifications that you have been affected by a security breach.

  • Take advantage of free credit monitoring services Anthem will be offering to breach victims.

  • Consider placing a "fraud alert" on credit reports, which alerts businesses that they should verify identity before issuing credit in a consumer's name. It lasts for 90 days, and you can sign up by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com; TransUnion, 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com; Experian, 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com.)

  • Watch for "phishing" emails from scammers claiming to be from Anthem, a credit card bureau or other legitimate company. A legitimate bank or card provider will never ask for your account information by mail or email.

  • Be vigilant of phone calls and legitimate-looking websites urging you to give up personal information. Also, never respond to pop-up ads that ask for personal or financial information.

  • Monitor credit reports and financial account statements regularly and report suspicious activity to your financial institutions. Free credit reports can be accessed at www.annualcreditreport.com.

  • Watch for signs that your identity or credit information has been misused. Some signs include: finding new accounts in your name or receiving credit cards that you did not open; receiving an address or account change notice you did not initiate; being denied credit or favorable credit terms for no apparent reason; or you suddenly stop receiving statements from a creditor for no good reason.


Customers affected by the recent data breach will be receiving a letter from Anthem explaining the breach and how to enroll in the identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.

Consumers with questions or concerns about the cyberattack are encouraged to call 1-877-263-7995 or visit www.anthemfacts.com. For information on preventing identity theft or to report suspicious activity, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338 or the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.


This story was posted on 2015-02-06 16:09:45
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