anthem email scamAdding to its headaches following the announcement of a massive cyber attack this past week, Anthem has issued a warning about an email scam that is targeting past and former customers. According to NBC News, the email is designed to look like it has been sent from Anthem and contains a link for users to click to sign up for free credit report monitoring. Although the company did send its customers an email to alert them the data breach had happened, it has said it will not be contacting people through email or phone with information about the credit monitoring it has promised to offer. Instead, Anthem will be sending letters through the mail to those whose data was exposed containing instructions for signing up for the credit report monitoring. Following big data breaches, phishing email scam attempts like this are common.

How can I know if I’ve received an email scam or phone call?

In a world where consumers are inundated with emails from companies big and small, it can be difficult telling a legitimate email from a fake one. Many scammers use graphics and email addresses that look nearly identical to those used by the actual company, in an effort to fool the targets of their email scams. Phone scammers are equally savvy, often using scare tactics to bully people into giving the information they seek. However, there are some ways you can be alert to the potential of a scam and not let yourself fall into their traps.

1. Don’t click on any hyperlinks or download any attachments. If you receive an email purporting to be from Anthem or another company, regard it with suspicion. While it is true that Anthem did contact its members by email to alert them of the data breach, the email only contained information. It did not request personal information or ask that users log into their accounts with a specific link. Emails containing attachments, unless from someone you know and trust, should be avoided. If you want to visit a website, rather than clicking on a link, type the address into the search bar yourself and double-check the URL to ensure it is the website you meant to visit.

2. Avoid giving your personal information over the phone. Telephone scams are all too common, but it is still possible to fall for one if you aren’t vigilant. Anthem has said it will not call customers regarding the data breach, and it will also not ask for your social security number or other personal information in order for you to sign up for the free credit report monitoring. If someone calls you asking for personal information or claiming to be with Anthem, hang up and visit www.anthemfacts.com to find the toll-free phone number the company has set up to answer customers’ questions.

To stay up-to-date on the Anthem hack and learn how to protect yourself, visit our identity theft protection blog for tips and information.