Indianapolis, Ind. (October 3, 2013/Coles Marketing Communications) –
Tim Maniscalo, CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central Indiana, cautions consumers not to let confusion around the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) law make you the victim of a phone scam. Scammers are exploiting the ACA as a way to fool Americans into sharing their personal information.
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 to receive insurance cards through the new Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). However, before he/she can mail your card, the caller needs to collect personal information. Scammers do a lot to make their requests seem credible.
For example, they may have your bank’s routing number and ask you to provide your account number. Or, they may ask for your credit card or Social Security number, Medicare ID or other personal information. Sharing personal information with a scammer puts you at risk for identity theft. Scammers can use the information they obtain to open credit cards in your name or steal from your bank account. BBB of Central Indiana urges Hoosiers to ignore these pitches and use the following precautions 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 phone 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 give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar callers.
- There is only one place to shop for a qualified health plan: www.healthcare.gov, which is run by the FTC’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, go to healthcare.gov