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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection The Resource Center | article

3 ID Theft Warning Signs After Premera Blue Cross Breach

Premera Blue Cross is the victim of a data breach that has put 11 million customers at risk of identity theft.

Identity theft warning signs to watch for after the largest data breach involving medical information reported to date.

Premera Blue Cross announced on Tuesday that as many as 11 million members may be victims of the largest data breach ever reported involving medical information. Hackers gained access to member information including name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number, member identification number, medical claims information and in some cases, bank account information. Members whose information has been compromised can expect a letter with more information and the company is providing two years of free credit and identity monitoring service to victims.

If you believe you are a victim of this breach, here are some warning signs that your identity could be being used fraudulently and steps you can take now to help protect yourself from identity theft.

Suspicious Communications

Be suspicious of mail, phone calls or emails claiming to be from Premera Blue Cross. The company has stated on their website that they will not be emailing or calling you. While the communications may actually be legitimate, it's better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, do not contact Premera via a phone number or visit the web address on any communications you receive. Instead, contact them at www.premeraupdate.com or 1-800-768-5817 which have been established for customers impacted by this breach.

Uese extra caution with suspicious emails that appear to be from Premera requesting personal information from you. When you receive emails asking you to log into your account, even if it looks legitimate, type the website into your browser yourself to log in or use a password manager tool, rather than clicking on the link in the email.

Claims on Your Insurance

Because medical information was accessed in this breach, you'll want to keep a close eye on your insurance records to make sure your identity isn't being used for fraudulent medical claims. Closely review your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements when you receive them. If you see services on that you did not obtain, contact Premera right away using the number on the back of your ID card.

Unexpected Credit Activity

Signs of credit fraud can be calls or bills from debtors and collection agencies, changes to your credit score, or unexpected denials for credit applications or failed background checks.

Monitor your credit report closely and look for new accounts opened without your authorization. Take advantage of the free monitoring service that Premera has provided to victims so you can receive prompt alerts when certain activity is detected.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can contact the credit bureaus and request a free fraud alert which requires that additional authorization be provided by you before new credit is issued.

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