Scammers Use Launch of Affordable Care Act Insurance for ID Theft Con

Consumers nationwide are reporting receiving scam phone calls claiming they are eligible for health insurance cards through the Affordable Care Act. But the insurance is not available until October, so don’t let scammers tell you otherwise.

How the Scam Works:   health insurance1 150x150 Scammers Use Launch of Affordable Care Act Insurance for ID Theft Con

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 he/she can mail your card, the caller needs to collect some personal information, such as bank account and social security numbers.

Of course, it’s a scam. There is no card, and enrollment for insurance under the Affordable Care Act doesn’t start until October 1st. Sharing personal information with a scammer puts you at risk for identity theft. Scammers can use the info they obtain to open credit cards in your name or steal from your bank account.

How to Spot a Scam:

Scammers often pose as government workers and take advantage of the confusion surrounding new or complex policies. Here are tips for dealing with this type of scam.

  • Hang up, don’t press any buttons and don’t call the scammer back. We all like to have the last word, but returning the phone call may just give the con artist information he can use.
  • The government typically doesn’t call, text or email.  Government agencies normally  communicate through the mail, so be very cautious of any unsolicited calls, text messages or emails you receive. Also, if the government is contacting you, they should already have your basic personal info, such as address and social security number.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
  • Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth or social security numbers to unfamiliar callers.

For More Information

Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s alert for this scam and learn more about a related issue, Medicare scams, on BBB’s blog.

To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

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About Emily Patterson