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Attorney General Josh Stein Shares Security Tips After Change Healthcare Cyberattack

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today reminded North Carolinians to secure their information following Change Healthcare’s February data breach. The total number or identity of affected breach victims is not yet known, but Change has estimated that up to one-third of all Americans may have been impacted by the breach. Change, the nation’s biggest electronic data clearinghouse, hasn’t yet provided individual notice to consumers whose personal data may have been leaked onto the dark web. Attorney General Stein wants North Carolinians to know about the breach and the resources available to them.

“We don’t yet know who was impacted by this enormous data breach,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m going to make sure that Change Healthcare does right by people who were affected, but in the meantime, I want North Carolinians to take steps to secure their financial and medical information. Monitor or freeze your credit and keep an eye out for possible signs of a scam – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”

The cyberattack on Change’s technology interrupted operations for thousands of doctors’ offices, hospitals, and pharmacies. Tens of thousands of providers, pharmacies, and insurers use Change’s infrastructure to verify insurance, confirm pre-authorization of procedures or services, exchange insurance claim data, and perform other essential health care tasks. In April, Attorney General Stein sent a letter to UnitedHealth Group, Inc. — the nation’s largest health insurer and the parent company of Change Healthcare — urging the corporation to take more meaningful action to better protect providers, pharmacies, and patients harmed by the recent breach.

If you believe you may have been impacted, you can access two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protections:

  1. To enroll in credit monitoring through IDX, click here or call 1-888-846-4705.
  2. For additional support from Change Healthcare, call 1-866-262-5342.

North Carolinians should look out for warning signs that someone is using their medical information, like:

  1. A bill from their doctor for services they did not receive.
  2. Errors in their Explanation of Benefits statement like services they never received or prescription medications they do not take.
  3. A call from a debt collector about a medical debt they do not owe.
  4. Medical debt collection notices on their credit report that they do not recognize.
  5. A notice from their health insurance company indicating they have reached their benefit limit.
  6. Being denied insurance coverage because their medical records show a pre-existing condition they do not have.

If people are concerned that their data may have been impacted but prefer not to use the free resources provided by Change Healthcare, they can also consider freezing their credit. A credit freeze prevents creditors—such as banks or lenders—from accessing people’s credit reports. This will stop identity thieves from taking out new loans or credit cards in consumer’s names because creditors will not approve their loans or credit requests if they cannot first access their credit reports. By law, a credit bureau must allow you to place, temporarily lift, or remove a credit freeze for free.

When consumers freeze their credit with each bureau, the bureaus will send them a personal identification number. The consumers can then use that PIN to unfreeze their credit if they want to apply for a loan or credit card. Consumers can also use the PIN to freeze their credit again after they have applied for loans or a new credit card.

You must freeze your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus:

  1. Equifax |
    1. +1 (888) 766-0008
  2. Experian |
    1. +1 (888) 397-3742
  3. TransUnion |
    1. +1 (800) 680-7289