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BBB Warns of Health Care Reform Scams - KOAM TV 7

BBB Warns of Health Care Reform Scams

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FROM THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

BBB Warns of Health Care Reform Scams

(9-27-13) BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is warning that with medical insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act due to open on October 1st, scammers may find “Obamacare” to be an attractive way to prey on vulnerable people in attempts to steal their identities and money.

“Scammers are already making calls to consumers, masquerading as government representatives, in an effort to gather sensitive financial and personal information,” said Jim Hegarty, BBB president & CEO. “Consumers who receive such calls should ignore them. If you provide information, it could be used to steal your identity or to access your accounts.”

One senior consumer from Hastings, NE reported to the BBB that she experienced a call of this nature. The person calling said he was from Medicare, and due to “Obamacare,” new Medicare cards needed to be mailed. Therefore, he was required to verify what account she was having her Social Security check deposited into. The caller also asked for her age, address, phone number and the correct spelling of her name. Thinking this was a legitimate call, she gave all of the information requested. The consumer was then transferred to a “Senior Medicare Representative” who told her that the conversation had been recorded and wished to verify the information she had provided.

"Always be cautious when anyone is calling and asking for personal information of any kind," Hegarty stated. "The government rarely calls individuals, and scammers can manipulate caller ID to say a variety of things. If you receive one of these calls, hang up. These scammers may be able to convince some uniformed consumers that their calls are legitimate, especially with such a hot topic as the new Health Care Law.”

The BBB offers the following tips to people who experience healthcare scams:

If you get one of these calls its best to simply hang up. You can visit the official website for health care reform at www.healthcare.gov and learn all that you need to know about how the act impacts consumers.

• Never give out personal information. Never give out your bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or Social Security number.

• Don’t rely on caller ID. Some scammers are able to display a company’s name or phone number on the caller ID screen. Don’t trust that the information you see is true.

• The government rarely communicates via phone calls. Most of the time, the government uses traditional postal mail to communicate with consumers. The government rarely calls, emails or texts, so you should view such contacts as suspect if they claim to represent the government.

• If you get one of these calls its best to simply hang up. You can visit the official website for health care reform at www.healthcare.gov to learn about how the act impacts consumers.

Consumers are urged to contact the BBB at 402-391-7612, BBB’s toll-free Senior Line at 877-637-3334 or go to bbb.org, for a BBB Business Review before doing business with any company or charity.

Better Business Bureau, Inc. (BBB) has been assisting U.S consumers and businesses since 1912 and is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing trust in the marketplace. Accountability, education and recognition of business role models are key components to the BBB's mission. Today BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota the Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is supported by approximately 10,000 Accredited Businesses that have voluntarily committed to adhere to BBB’s Standards of Trust. Consumers are encouraged to visit bbb.org for Business Reviews on over 4 million companies or to report complaints and possible scams.

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