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Scammers Pounce in Wake of Anthem Hack

Feb. 9, 2015
Personal Finance
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If it wasn’t bad enough that the accounts of tens of millions of Anthem insurance customers were hacked, now scammers are trying to take advantage of the attack with phishing attempts.

Last week, Anthem announced that the account information of as many as 80 million customers was stolen in a sophisticated hacking attack. Anthem is the second-largest insurance company in the United States.

Now security experts say scammers are sending spam email and making phone calls claiming to represent Anthem and offering a free year of credit-card protection service. “Phishing” is an attempt to get victims to give away personal data like Social Security and credit card numbers.

On a FAQ page set up to give victims legitimate information, Anthem said it will be contacting customers to let them know whether they’ve been impacted by the hack.

“Unsurprisingly, phishers took that as an invitation” to blast Anthem customers with fraudulent email, security blogger Brian Krebs writes. Krebs posted an example of a typical missive, offering a free year’s worth of credit monitoring services if the reader clicks an embedded link.

On its website, Anthem also says it knows of phone calls in which scammers claim to be from Anthem.

“These emails and calls are not from Anthem, and no notifications have been sent from Anthem since the initial notification on Wed., Feb. 4, 2015,” Anthem said in a voice recording on a phone line it has established in the wake of the hack.

The recording says Anthem will send letters via postal mail to current and former members who have been impacted by the attack.

Names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income, were all part of the Anthem data that was compromised, according to a statement from Anthem.

It does not appear that credit card information or medical records were compromised, according to Anthem.

The identity of the hackers who breached Anthem security has not been determined, although some investigators say state-sponsored Chinese hackers may be to blame.

If you are concerned about your personal data, see NerdWallet’s tips for protecting your data from hackers, keeping credit card information secure and monitoring for ID theft.

Image via iStock.