In this episode of Scambook video news, Kevan describes how crooks are using the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Obama Administration’s Affordable Healthcare Act to defraud consumers. He explains that fraudsters are taking advantage of all the recent media attention and political confusion to try to exploit you. They may call you on the phone and try to sell you a fake Obama Health Plan, Obamacare Insurance or Healthcare Reform Insurance. In another scheme, the crooks pretend to be US Health Officials who need to verify your private personal information for the new law. They may ask for your Social Security Number or claim that you owe insurance fees to the government. Kevan tells us that according to The New York Times, con artists have been hustling elderly and low-income consumers in Illinois, Alabama, Kansas and Nevada – but these bogus healthcare-related schemes will probably increase as we approach the 2014 Individual Mandate. Kevan reminds us that the bad guys don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. They’ll try to steal your money (or commit identity theft) whether you vote for Barack Obama or for Mitt Romney in the November 2012 presidential elections. He recommends visiting HealthCare.gov to learn more.
At Scambook, we’ve noticed that fraudsters follow trends. Whenever there’s a big news story, they jump on board and use the press to their advantage. In this case, they’re preying on consumers’ ignorance about the Affordable Healthcare Act. The new Health Reform legislation can be very confusing, and it doesn’t help that it’s been so politicized by pundits on both sides of the aisle. Many people don’t know how the new law will impact them. As a result, con artists are impersonating government officials over the phone. They say they need to confirm information for the new law to take effect, and then they’ll ask for your Social Security Number. They may also say that you owe government fees as a way to get your credit card number or checking account routing number. In other reported cases, the crooks will instruct you to wire these “government fees” via Western Union or Money Gram.
On the other side of this scheme, hustlers are selling sham insurance policies. They may advertise these discount plans as Obamacare Insurance, Obama Health Plans, Healthcare Reform Insurance or other variations of these terms. These plans sound very affordable and appealing to uninsured Americans, but they don’t exist! The fraudsters are just using them to steal your money.
Again, they’re relying on the confusion surrounding healthcare reform. Many consumers know that they’ll have to buy health insurance or pay a penalty tax as part of the law’s Individual Responsibility Mandate. But they may not know that this mandate doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2014. Right now, these health reform insurance schemes have been relatively isolated, but we expect the trend will only increase as we approach 2014.
Regardless of your feelings on healthcare reform, we recommend that you familiarize
yourself with the details of the new law. Information is always the best protection against fraud. If you know what’s real and what’s a myth about the Affordable Care Act, you’ll be able to know when someone is trying to take advantage of you. Visit www.healthcare.gov to learn the facts about healthcare reform.
As Kevan stresses in the video, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, a Conservative or a Liberal, or anything in between. The bad guys don’t care about your voting record. They just want to rip you off.
As a general rule, never give personal information or send money to an unsolicited caller. If you’re not sure if a telemarketer is legitimate, get their contact information, including their name, their supervisor’s name and their mailing address and phone number. Then, do your homework and look them up on Scambook. If it turns out that the person calling you is a government health official, you can always call them back later.