Earlier this year, fake emails began circulating to Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield employees, and when certain staff members followed links in those emails, data for up to 80 million current customers fell into the hands of hackers.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer puts it simply: "As breaches go, the Anthem/Blue Cross hacking was a bad one, because it involves Social Security numbers - the kind of information cybercriminals can use to commit tax and financial ID theft."
The company is currently in the process of identifying which customers specifically have been affected by this data breach, and informing them by mail. Importantly, the company says that victims will NOT be informed by phone or email if their records were hacked, and if customers are contacted via these methods, it is likely the continued work of a hacker or scam artist.
The Plain Dealer is recommending a few steps to take to protect yourself if you believe your information might have been compromised; these steps will help you protect your personal information and identity while Anthem/BCBS informs its customers about the scope of the attack.
The biggest pieces of advice? Don't respond to email or phone offers for help, and investigate a credit freeze. And if you are contacted by someone who you suspect to be a scammer or hacker, report them to your local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission.