A new phone scam is attempting to solicit personal information under the pretense of early Obamacare registration. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new insurance fraud, including some general rules of thumb for avoiding these duplicitous phone calls.
In the past, we’ve told you about the different ways in which scammers have targeted Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare phone fraud is nothing new, but criminals are always looking for believable ways to fool unsuspecting victims. Their latest efforts involve posing as federal employees looking to collect personal information for the early implementation of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act or PPACA, also known publicly in some circles as “Obamacare.”
Recent reports show these solicitors are preying on the public’s lack of knowledge regarding the specifics of the PPACA by telling their targets they’ve been selected to be among the first to get insurance cards for the new statute. In order to be registered right away, these scammers request both the target’s Social Security and checking account numbers in order to input their information into the system. While this scam doesn’t specifically target Medicare beneficiaries, seniors, and the elderly, there have been many instances of this being the case.
How to protect yourself
The Federal Trade Commission issued a reminder that it is not possible to register for the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act until October 1st and no one will call you beforehand to facilitate an early “opt-in.”
“We’ve heard from consumers and from other federal agencies that scammers are trying to convince people to act now,” the FTC said in a warning. “Scammers always want to get your money before you have time to stop and think.”
If you happen to receive a fraudulent or suspicious solicitation, simply hang up the phone. Do not interact with the scammer in any way. If you have any doubt as to the legitimacy of the call, you can always contact Medicare or your insurance company directly to verify.
It is important to understand that the government already has your information and therefore will not call or email requests for information. If it feels suspicious, it probably is. Never give out personal information via email or the phone. That includes credit card numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth, and your Social Security number.
If you have received one of these calls, you may report the incident through the Federal Trade Commission.
JSOnline also covered this story.
Have you ever received one of these calls? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.
Medicare has neither approved nor endorsed this information.