Los Angeles, California - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert in response to the reported breach of UCLA Health, which has impacted up to 4.5 million people. The reported breach compromised the personally identifiable information and medical records of patients and providers at UCLA Health.
Individuals who believe they may have been impacted can contact UCLA Health at 877-534-5972 or visit http://www.myidcare.com/uclaprotection for more information and options to sign up for free services offered by UCLA.
This breach may pose a risk of sensitive information being compromised, including social security numbers (SSNs), separate health insurance IDs, diagnosis and treatment records, and payment information. Both SSNs and health insurance IDs create the potential for medical identity theft, which is the use of someone’s identity to obtain medical services or products or for financial gain. Medical identity theft can affect both the victim’s finances and medical records. Potentially impacted individuals should closely watch the Explanation of Benefits statements they receive from their health insurer. If the statement includes a service or product you did not receive, contact the insurer and ask for details. For more information, see First Aid for Medical Identity Theft: Tips for Consumers by clicking here. These Tips are also available in Spanish.
The Attorney General’s Breach Help: Tips for Consumers has simple instructions for consumers who have been affected by a breach and includes what to do in response to a Social Security number breach. Breach Help is also available in Spanish.
Steps for Responding to Social Security Number Breach:
1. PLACE A FRAUD ALERT.
Contact the three major credit bureaus and place a 90 day “fraud alert.” This helps protect you against the possibility of an identity thief opening new credit accounts in your name. When a merchant checks the credit history of someone applying for credit, the merchant gets an “alert” that there may be fraud on the account.
You will reach an automated telephone system. You will also be sent instructions on how to get a free copy of your report from each of the credit bureaus. Order the reports.
2. REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORTS.
Look through each one carefully. Look for accounts you do not recognize, especially accounts opened since December 2014, when the Anthem breach occurred. Follow the instructions in the report for disputing any questionable information.
3. CONSIDER A SECURITY FREEZE.
Placing a security freeze on your credit files offers longer-term protection. For information on how to do this, see “How to Freeze Your Credit Files” at www.oag.ca.gov/privacy/info-sheets.
4. BE WARY OF PHISHING ATTEMPTS.
If you get an email or call from someone claiming to be from Anthem and asking for your personal information, do not provide it. Scammers often take advantage of breaches by offering to help and actually seeking to steal your information. Check with Anthem through the phone number you usually use or one from the phone book, if you want to confirm that such a contact is legitimate.