It never takes long for scammers to exploit the latest news. Just a day after the announcement that as many as 80 million customers of Anthem could be victims of a data breach, scammers are sending out emails that very convincingly spoof Anthem’s logo and corporate look. These emails are unrelated to the data breach itself, but are taking advantage of people’s fears and uncertainties.
The emails claim to be from Anthem and to provide information about free credit monitoring. This is a scam. Better Business Bureau is offering the following advice:
Whether you are an Anthem customer or not, DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS OR OPEN ATTACHMENTS IN EMAILS CLAIMING TO BE FROM ANTHEM.
If you are a current or past customer of Anthem:
1) Get your information only from Anthem. Go to anthem.com directly, not from a link in an email or other website, and click on the “Learn More” button. Although Anthem has set up a separate website to deal with the data breach, BBB recommends when looking for information such as this, always going to the main corporate site and click through from there to be certain you are not at a spoof website.
2) Consider placing a free fraud alert on your credit reports now. Contact one of the three major credit bureaus; once you add a fraud alert to one, that company will notify the other two. A fraud alert flags your credit reports, alerting potential lenders to verify the identity of anyone attempting to open an account in your name. Fraud alerts provide some protection, but rely on the diligence of the person performing the credit check.
Equifax: 800-525-6285 equifax.com
Experian: 888-397-3742 experian.com
TransUnionCorp: 800-680-7289 transunion.com
3) For stronger protection at some inconvenience, consider a credit freeze with each of the credit bureaus. Although there may be an initial charge, it is possible that you will be able to seek reimbursement if you can show you were a victim of the data breach. Fees vary by state but generally run about $10.00. Be sure to hold onto your login credentials so that you can “thaw” your reports when you need new credit.
For more information about what to do after a data breach, go to bbb.org/breach.
For information on how to freeze your credit, check out this blog post.
For more information about scams, go to BBB Scam Stopper at bbb.org/scam. Sign up for Scam Alerts to find out about new scams when we do.
“Safeguard Privacy” is one of the eight BBB Standards for Trust. Businesses can learn more about protecting their customers’ information at bbb.org/data-privacy