The Affordable Care Act (also called ObamaCare) scams have started and they come in many forms: fake websites, emails and phone calls. Some are phone calls claiming to get your lower cost insurance (even car insurance!) and others are websites made to look like the government- Healthcare.gov.
HealthCare Scams to Watch Out For:
Supplemental Medicare Coverage - People age 65 and over, who are on Medicare, do not need to buy supplemental coverage. Scammers are selling expensive add-on policies by claiming that such coverage is required (which it is not).
You Need a New Medicare Card - Scammers are telling people that the law means they need cards; which is not true.
Phone call saying you will receive a new insurance card - The call, from someone claiming to be from the federal government, says you were selected as part of the initial group of Americans to receive insurance cards through the new Affordable Care Act. But they ask for personal information, such as bank account and social security numbers. It's a scam for identity theft or to steal money from your accounts.
Fake websites made to look like Healthcare.gov - These websites, which do not end in ".gov" sell expensive insurance policies or steal personal information for identity theft.
What to do?
- Do not give out your social security number, credit card numbers or personal information to unsolicited calls.
- Report suspicious calls and emails to the FTC, or Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
- If you get an unsolicited commercial email message, treat it with caution: Don't click on links or open attachments in any email unless you know who sent it and what it is. Scammers try to trick people into clicking on links that download malicious programs and can put your personal information at risk. Forward spam to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org,
- For guideance about health insurance see our sister website, ConsumersHealthcareGuide.org.
- If you want insurance under the Affordable Care Act, make sure to visit www.healthcare.gov.
What is the FTC doing?
The Federal Trade Commission has sued one of the world's reputedly biggest spammers and the company it says he used to send thousands of false, alarming and threatening emails disguised as information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to the FTC, months before people could enroll for coverage under the ACA, the emails played off headlines about impending deadlines for selecting health insurance, pressuring recipients with messages including 'Today is the deadline" and "Activate here before it's too late." The emails included phony consequences for not following the 'warnings,' claiming that anyone who didn't elect coverage would be in violation of federal law and face penalties. The FTC said that when thousands of people clicked through those messages, though, all they saw were pages with advertisements for products and services, including insurance.
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!
- FTC. Gov - Affordable Care Act Scammer caught.
- USA Today - Scams sprout with rollout of Obamacare
- Federal Trade Commission - Suspect A Health Care Scam?
- The New York Times - Con Men Prey on Confusion Over Health Care Act
Better Business Bureau - Scammers Use Launch of Affordable Care Act
Insurance for ID Theft