Email Scam Targets Anthem Hack Victims

Phishing campaign looks to gather yet more info
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2015 6:28 AM CST
The Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – Victims of the Anthem hack were warned by the health insurer yesterday to watch out for an email scam targeting them. The "phishing" emails to current and former Anthem members claim to come from Anthem and advise recipients to click on a link so they can get credit monitoring, Reuters reports. "These emails are NOT from Anthem," the company says in an FAQ, warning customers not to click on any such links or give out information online. The company notes that it will only make contact via mail delivered by USPS and that it will not call members about the data breach or ask for sensitive information over the phone. There is no indication the scam is being perpetrated by the same people who breached Anthem, gaining access to as many as 80 million records.

A privacy expert explains to CNBC why this particular phishing scam is more alarming than most: Because of the information the hackers may have accessed, scammers may be able to put together extremely personalized emails. "Whereas someone who might be vigilant about a general email, if they get one that's very targeted to them, they're less likely to be aware that it might be a phishing email," he says. And bad news for non-Anthem customers: The New York Times reports that after this hack, security experts say attacks on other insurers are likely "because of the high value of the data on the black market" as medical identity theft becomes big business. Click to read about the most worrisome part of the breach.

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