An official announcement was given via email to some of those affected by the breech at Anthem. The data lost included the personal identifiable information to millions of its customers. Credit monitoring for 2 years is the prize, a mere $360.00 per person at full retail. From AllClear a company that does full service monitoring and send out alerts to consumers when changes in credit are detected. No doubt the large carrier got a discount from the provider.
For too long the credit industry has used dictatorship control over the monitoring and protection of our credit. In the age of the internet and 24/7 access to information, you are only “allowed” to view your credit report once a year for free. To limit access to new lines of credit the industry has invented a freeze system which again costs the consumer money. In the State of Connecticut through Public Act No. 05-148 the cost is set to 10.00 per year, that is, plus tax of course. The service will block attempts to create new lines of credit and offers a way to thaw ones credit if necessary. In light of the breech that affects numbers that approaches nearly one third of the state population base it might be advisable for the legislature to revisit the ACT and require that no fee for its residents be required. This could be done for a while since two years goes by quickly and the people affected have the rest of their lives to worry.
The letter that was sent by the state controller’s office to former and current State employees gave additional advice including the contact information to the big three traditional credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
There are several other considerations that were not covered in the letter. ChexSystems is a service that that some banks use to verify status when opening a new account. Freeze protection is also available from them blocking the ability of opening a new account at a different bank.. The service is popular however not every bank uses them. It still is a good safeguard and has to be requested from AllClear. Innovis is a smaller traditional credit reporting agency that also sells reports that is not covered under AllClear services. Then there are the pseudo credit scores that are increasing being used in the insurance industry and used by employers for application screening that bypass the protections federal regulation. They are cheaper than the traditional systems.
Ironically Anthem is in the pseudo credit business. Pseudo credit scores are an invention of Big Data and are derived from a wide range of information including your online activities. Consumers are powerless to check the scores or even what is in them since data brokers are not a single entity. The reports offered vary since there are multiple report generating companies. They are increasingly making the traditional credit reporting systems insignificant. This problem was brought to light in 2013 during federal hearings of the data brokers industry.