Experts: New Health Care Law a Prime Target for Scammers - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Experts: New Health Care Law a Prime Target for Scammers

Updated:

An important date is coming up for the new Affordable Care Act.

On October 1, people who are uninsured or who buy their own coverage can start signing up for health insurance offered under the new law.

Consumer experts are warning it could be prime time for con-artists. People across the nation have been reporting to the Federal Trade Commission they're getting phone calls from imposters claiming to be with the government in regards to the new law.

The Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau in Northeast Wisconsin says they fear con-artists could capitalize on confusion with the new affordable care program, and use this enrollment period as an opportunity to lure people into a scam.

"People are calling consumers at home and telling them they're with Obamacare, and they need some personal information from them to send them a new Obamacare card or to help them enroll in these healthcare exchanges. And really, we know that's a scam because the government would never call you, or text, or email," said Susan Bach, Better Business Bureau. "They would send you something in the mail, U.S. Postal Mail Service. We're just warning people preemptively to be careful with things like that."

The Better Business Bureau says don't let people fool you into charging you a fee to help you navigate the new health care law.

"If you get a phone call with someone claiming to be with Medicare, or Obamacare, or U.S. Government, hang up--it's a scam. Text messages, just don't reply. Emails, don't reply," said Bach. "Make sure that when you enroll in healthcare exchanges, that you go to legitimate government websites, approved by government.  Be careful with personal information. Don't give it to someone where you haven't initiated the initial contact."

Also, don't trust caller ID. There's technology that can let someone display any number or organization name on your screen.
     
To find legitimate people to help you with these new health care options at no charge, go to the official government website: https://www.healthcare.gov/

The Federal Trade Commission encourages you to report con-artists so they can investigate and stop the fraud.  You can do so by clicking here: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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