Lindeen: Take Steps to Avoid Scams After Insurance Co. Hack

csimt 2015, Insurance, Press Release

Montanans are among 80 million Americans affected by insurance company data breach

HELENA, Mont. ­– Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen is urging Montanans affected by the recent security breach at the Anthem, Inc., insurance company to be aware of identity theft and to be wary of communications purporting to come from the company.

Anthem has announced it will contact affected customers through the U.S. Mail only; emails or phone calls claiming to come from Anthem are likely scams, Lindeen said.

“Anthem had very few customers in Montana, but it’s important to remember that the breach affected past customers, as well,” Lindeen said. “If you have ever had insurance through Anthem, I urge you to take steps to protect yourself.”

There are several ways to protect yourself:

  • Call Anthem at 877-263-7995 or visit the site the company established to respond to the attack at www.anthemfacts.com.

  • Ask the credit reporting agencies to place a note in your file to verify the identity of anyone who tries to open a new account in your name. Find out more about this here.

  • Get a security freeze. A security freeze seals your credit information so no one can see it without your permission. You obtain a freeze by contacting all three credit reporting bureaus. You must contact all three. A freeze costs $3 per bureau. You will be given a personal identification number unique to you that you can use to temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for a credit card or loan. More information on credit freezes is here.

An estimated 80 million Americans could be affected by the breach. Anthem did not sell health insurance in Montana and had only a handful of insurance customers in the state, according to records from Lindeen’s office. However, Montanans insured through national employers with benefits provided through Anthem could be affected, as well as any Montanan who previously had Anthem insurance.