The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 24, 2013

BBB warns residents about ‘Obamacare’ phone scam

Consumers across the United States are receiving telephone calls in which the caller claims to be a government official with news about new health insurance cards required by the Affordable Care Act.

It is a scam.

The Better Business Bureau is warning that the scam is growing as the Oct. 1 implementation date for the Health Insurance Marketplace approaches.

“Con artists are taking advantage of people’s confusion about what exactly the Affordable Care Act means for them,” said Carrie Hurt, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Scammers’ favorite tools are confusion and fear. This is the latest twist on the ‘Medicare scam’ that BBB has seen for years. Whenever there is a new government program or new public policy, fraudsters will take advantage of people. The simple fact is there is no Affordable Care card. It’s a scam.”

BBB has issued several scam alerts warning consumers about scams related to the ACA, but is stepping up efforts as the implementation date approaches.

Here’s how the scam works. You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the federal government. The caller informs you that you’ve been selected as part of the initial group of Americans to receive insurance cards through the new Affordable Care Act. However, before the caller can mail your card, they need to verify personal information, such as your bank account and Social Security numbers.

BBB urges consumers to ignore these pitches and take these steps when dealing with this type of scam:

• Be cautious with your identity. Never give personal information to someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether by phone, email, social media or in person;

• Hang up, don’t press any buttons and don’t call back. Returning the telephone call may just give the con artist information he can use;

• The government uses regular mail. Government agencies normally communicate through the mail, so be cautious of calls, text messages or emails;

• Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen;

• Keep your personal information to yourself. Never release personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and date of birth or Social Security number to unfamiliar callers.

For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, go online to https://www.healthcare.gov.  For more tips you can trust, go online to http://www.bbb.org/. 

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee