Millions Lost to Medical Billing Scam - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Millions Lost to Medical Billing Scam


You may have seen the offers, promising you big money to work from home while doing medical billing.  But investigators say some of these offers will cost you more than you will ever make.

One scam busted by authorities made this offer: For $6,000 and a one day course, job seekers were told they could learn to do medical billing from home and earn big bucks.

"They would be told there would be no need to market the services. The demand was so great for medical billing that they wouldn't even need to knock on doctors' doors, doctors would be seek them out," said Terrence Sullivan, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Investigators say the company EDI lured in victims by telling them they could earn $1,200 a month and that EDI would help them find clients.

"EDI would provide them with a couple of firms or doctors offices or chiropractors or medical laboratories that would be in their area," said Sullivan.

Investigators say the whole thing was a scam.

"In this particular case, it was always a fraud," said Sullivan. "There was no demand for the medical billing service they were offering."

Victims lost the $6,000 fee they paid, as well as money spent flying to a one day training session in Detroit.  In all, 3,500 victims lost more than $17 million.

Postal inspectors say the majority of people who signed up for the course never found a single client, never processed a single claim and never made a dime.

Inspectors say be wary of work at home opportunities.

"No one is going to pay you big money and not ask you to put out a lot of effort," said Sullivan. "They really take advantage of people in a desperate situation."

The FTC says medical billing is among the top work-from-home scams. The reality is few consumers find clients or make any money.

While there are legitimate jobs available in this field, the Department of Labor Statistics says most work in hospitals or doctors offices and you need appropriate certification from an accredited school.

The advice: always check out the company through the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Protection.  Click here for more information on work-from-home schemes.


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