Scammers are using the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," as the latest way to steal your identity. Better Business Bureau says, don't let the lack of information about healthcare changes create problems for you. BBB's Dale Dixon joined Good Morning Idaho to talk about the scams popping up to try and con insurance-seekers out of private information.
Dixon says, "Obamacare scams come in a variety of forms. People in Idaho and across the country allege that scammers are contacting them by phone, fax, email and even in person. Some scammers claim to be government employees, tricking consumers into revealing their bank account numbers in order to sign up for fake health care plans. Others are asking for Social Security numbers in order for consumers to continue their eligibility for Medicare."
Dixon also says the "bad guys" are even resorting to scary tactics to try and con people. He says fraudsters are intimidating people into disclosing information by claiming "it's the law" or that "the government now requires it." Some people are threatened with jail time if they do not purchase fake insurance cards. The only financial penalties associated with families and individuals that don't obtain insurance doesn't take effect until 2014, and contains no jail penalty.
So here's what people should know. Policies in the exchange don't open for business until Oct. 1. Until then, no one can sell you insurance through an exchange. BBB offers the following tips to help you spot a health insurance fraud:
- Hang up the phone.
- Never give out personal information.
- Don't rely on caller ID.
- Get informed by heading to HealthCare.gov.
- Get help. If you've already given out personal information, contact the BBB for what to do next.
Remember, Better Business Bureau has a number of resources to help you protect your identity and money. Find more at BBB's website.