Attorney General James Urges New Yorkers to Use Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Services Following Cyberattack on Change Healthcare

Attorney General James Urges New Yorkers to Use Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Services Following Cyberattack on Change Healthcare

A cyberattack on healthcare systems has affected millions of patients and healthcare providers across the country.


New York State Attorney General Letitia James today issued a consumer alert to raise awareness of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services available to millions of consumers affected by the Change Healthcare data breach. In February, Change Healthcare, which operates the nation’s largest electronic healthcare payment system, suffered a cyberattack that exposed the personal information of millions of patients, including millions of New Yorkers. Following the cyberattack, Attorney General James urged UnitedHealth Group, Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer and Change Healthcare’s parent company, to strengthen its efforts to protect providers, pharmacies, and patients harmed by the breach. Today, Change Healthcare is offering all New York residents free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for two years to protect their personal information.


“The disastrous cyberattack on Change Healthcare exposed the personal information of millions of Americans and left them vulnerable to bad actors,” said Attorney General James“As UnitedHealth and its subsidiary work to address the impact of the cyberattack, I encourage anyone who believes their information has been compromised to use the company’s free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to protect themselves. Businesses should not treat data security as a last-minute concern. Protecting New Yorkers from fraud is essential, and my office will continue to ensure that businesses take this responsibility seriously.”


The cyberattack on Change Healthcare disrupted healthcare services at thousands of doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies and exposed Americans’ sensitive personal and health data on the dark web, a hidden part of the internet where cybercriminals can buy, sell and track personal information. Change Healthcare estimates that the data breach could affect up to one-third of all Americans.


Because Change Healthcare has not yet notified affected individuals, Attorney General James encourages everyone to use the free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to protect their information. These resources will be available free of charge for two years. Consumers can sign up for the free credit monitoring and identity protection services online or by calling 1-866-262-5342.


Consumers should be aware of potential warning signs that someone is using their medical information. These signs include:


  • Bills for medical services they didn’t receive.

  • Errors in their explanation of benefits statement, such as charges for services never received or prescriptions not filled.

  • Calls from debt collectors regarding medical debts they don’t owe.

  • Medical debt collection notices on their credit report that they don’t recognize.

  • Notification from their health insurance company regarding reaching benefit limits.

  • Denial of insurance coverage due to inaccurate pre-existing conditions.


If you are concerned about your data but would prefer not to use the free services provided by Change Healthcare, consider freezing your credit by calling the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. A credit freeze prevents banks or lenders from accessing your credit report. This will prevent identity thieves from taking out new loans or credit cards in the consumer’s name because creditors will not approve their loans or credit applications if they cannot first access their credit reports. By law, a credit reporting agency must allow consumers to place, temporarily lift or remove a credit freeze for free.


When consumers freeze their credit with each bureau, the bureau sends them a personal identification number (PIN). Consumers can then use this 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 applying for a loan or a new credit card.


Consumers must call all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, to freeze their credit.


Consumers can report concerns related to the Change Healthcare cyberattack to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) by calling 1-800-771-7755 or filing a complaint online.