Scam of the day – March 31, 2014 – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) scams

Today is the deadline for the applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) under the initial open enrollment period.  People required to enroll who have not started the process by today face being assessed with a financial penalty.   This is a great opportunity for uninsured people to purchase health insurance.  It is also a great opportunity for identity thieves and scam artists to take advantage of the confusion that surrounds the Affordable Care Act and try to steal your money and your personal information which they can use to make you a victim of identity theft.  There are a number of phony Affordable Care Act websites and people are also receiving calls from identity thieves and scammers posing as legitimate insurance brokers where the goal is merely to obtain your personal information and make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Never give personal information to anyone over the phone who calls you regardless of who they say they are because you can never be sure of their true identity.  Even if your Caller ID indicates that they are legitimate, scammers and identity thieves are able to manipulate Caller ID through a technique called spoofing whereby they are able to make their call appear to be from a legitimate source.  As for websites dealing with the Affordable Care Act, the problems initially occurring with the functioning of the website have been eliminated.  The best source of information both as to how to learn about the Affordable Care Act and to sign up for a plan is https://www.healthcare.gov/

 

Scam of the day – October 1, 2013 – Obamacare scams surge

Halloween is thirty days away, but today is a scary day for many people who don’t even know that they should be afraid.  Today is the first day that the insurance exchanges which are at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, most often called Obamacare, will be operating.  These insurance exchanges which are operating in every state will help people sign up for insurance between now and the start of 2014 in order to comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  I have been warning you for months now about the many scams tied to the Affordable Care Act, but they will truly shifting into high gear now.  You will receive emails, texts and phone calls from people purporting to be government workers involved with the insurance exchanges who will ask you for personal information in order to sign you up for an insurance program that they tell you is mandated by law.  In some instances, the scammers have even told people that if they do not provide the information requested and sign up for a program, they will be arrested.  The truth is that if you receive a call, text or email from someone seeking to sign you up through the insurance exchanges, it is a scam with the sole intention of taking your personal information and turning you into a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

The insurance exchanges will not be reaching out to people by phone, text or email to sign people up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act so anytime you receive such a call you can be confident that it is a scam.  In fact, because it is so easy to “spoof” a telephone call so that on your caller ID the call appears legitimate, you should never give personal information to anyone who calls you, texts you or emails you because you just can’t be sure that they are who they say they are.  If you think a call, email or text requesting information might be legitimate, you should call the organization or company purporting to contact you at a telephone number that you know is accurate to find out whether or not the call was legitimate.  As for questions about the Affordable Care Act, go to the official government website https://www.healthcare.gov/  There you will find information upon which you can rely.

Scam of the day – July 8, 2013 – Latest Affordable Care Act scams

It is never to early for scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists to take advantage of timely events to scam people and steal their money.  The Affordable Care Act, which is sometimes called Obamacare is an  extensive overhaul of the health care system that is being phased in over a number of years.  Beginning October 1st people will first have the opportunity to purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace also referred to as the Health Insurance Exchange.  This program will permit you to fill out just one application to learn about multiple health care options.  Unfortunately, scammers are already contacting people by phone and email  purporting to be with the Health Insurance Marketplace asking for personal information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number needed, they say, to apply for health insurance.   This is a fraud.  The scammers then use this information to make the recipients of the call or email a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

At this time, the Health Insurance Marketplace is not in operation.  It is not scheduled to start until October 1, 2013.  Anyone who calls you representing that he or she is with the Health Insurance Marketplace is lying.  Do not give them any personal information.  In fact, you should never give personal information to anyone who calls you or emails you asking for personal information unless you are absolutely positive they are legitimate, which you cannot do without confirming this fact by contacting the real organization, if there is one, that they purport to represent so never give personal information to anyone who calls you or emails you.