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from the editor5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft

You may lock your home and lock your car but have you taken steps to reduce your risk of identity theft? According to the Internal Revenue Service, 2.7 million people had their identities stolen in 2014 resulting in financial loss of billions of dollars. As identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information for personal gain, fighting identity theft can feel like an overwhelming battle. Although identity theft can happen to anyone, we’ve provided 5 easy ways to help you reduce your risk.

Anthem sponsored AllClear services will expire in February 2017. However, members still enrolled in Anthem medical plans are eligible to receive AllClear Identity Repair as well as AllClear Credit and Identity Theft Monitoring – free of charge.

  • AllClear Identity Repair: If a problem arises, AllClear Investigators will work with you every step of the way, including contacting creditors and other institutions involved, and restoring your identity to its proper condition. If you are an active eligible Anthem medical member, AllClear Identity Repair is automatically available with no enrollment required.
  • AllClear Credit and Identity Theft Monitoring: Monitoring provides an extra layer of protection to help employees stay informed of their credit activity. All Anthem members with active medical coverage are eligible to receive this service and may continue this service as long as the member remains enrolled in an Anthem medical plan, however members must register or re-enroll for this service to continue with coverage for 2017. Register to begin protecting your identity today by visiting Anthemcares.allclearid.com.

Monitor and protect your Tax Savings Benefit (TSB) and Health Savings Account (HSA) information like you would any other banking information. Visit iu.nyhart.com to review your account information and arrange to receive email or text alerts when a claim has been filed for your account and when payment has been issued out of your account.

Make a habit to review your credit report to help catch signs of identity theft early. Federal law allows you to receive a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. If you’re concerned about identify theft, consider placing a credit freeze on your account. Also known as a security freeze, a credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report which makes it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Order your free credit report online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.

Your child’s personal information is protected by law. A child’s social security number can be used by identity thieves to open accounts, apply for loans or even rent a place to live. Check a credit report to see if your child’s information is being misused. Find out how your child’s information is collected, used, stored and thrown away at school and other organizations to help minimize your child’s risk of identity theft.

If a credit or debit card is lost or stolen, report it right away. Most credit card companies and financial institutions have a system in place to protect their customers and remove unauthorized charges on the user’s account.

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