Guard Your Identity from Scammers
There are scammers out there who use email to get the personal information they need to steal your identity — including your medical identity. So be on the alert if you are asked to update or validate personal or account information via email.
Criminal networks create sophisticated scams to rob individuals of information and sell it on the illegal market. More than ever, healthcare information is the target of their scams. Why? A stolen medical identity, such as your name and ID number, takes longer to detect and often nets scammers substantially more profit than a stolen credit card.
Recent trends are fueling the scams. Social networking, through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, provides new opportunities and a wealth of background information on target individuals and companies. As a result, the scams can appear to come from a person or business you know.
Here are tip-offs to some common schemes, known as social engineering, which can rob you of your precious identity. They often rely on scare tactics or tap into a natural desire to be helpful.
"We need to update (or verify) your records."
"Your computer may have a virus!"
"There may be suspicious activity on your account."
Remember, legitimate senders (e.g., banks, credit card companies, government agencies, retailers, online auctions, and even tech support) will not ask you to give or confirm account information via email. So don't provide personal information, such as an account number, user name, or password.
Here are some specific things to watch out for:
- Look for misspellings, bad grammar, or email and web addresses that don't look correct. (If you want to validate the email request, contact the business using their published telephone number or key in their website address yourself.)
- Be alert to messages that appear to come from someone you know, but contain a strange subject line or request.
- Don't fall for pressure tactics claiming to need information to fix something right away.
- Scams often contain attachments or links to phony look-alike websites. Don't open them and don’t click, as they may cause malicious code to be downloaded to your computer.
- Delete suspicious emails immediately.
At Cigna, we know there's only one you. That's why we have technical safeguards in place and we train all our employees to protect your information, so we can help keep you and your medical identity healthy.